In Jiangyong county of Hunan province of China, there is an ancient script. It is related to Hanzi, that was designed to put into writing the local Tuhua dialect. 

However, Hanzi is a pictographic, character-based writing system that is attested from at least the year 1600 BC. This system of writing dates back no further than the high Middle Ages. 

It is much also more phonetic in nature. The script contains no more than a few hundred characters. 

Like most of the world’s writing systems, it was devised at a time when literacy was rare among the common folk, and even among the elites was dominated by men. 

Nüshu writing, however, was developed by women, read exclusively by women. It was not even known to most men until the 20th century.



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Neil Ryan