Anthropology Magazine

What the Vai Script Reveals About the Evolution of Writing
  • Decoded

    A black script is shown on sepia tone paper with a tear at the top.

    What the Vai Script Reveals About the Evolution of Writing

    In the 19th century, a man living in present-day Liberia dreamed of the first script for his native Vai language. Today linguistic anthropologists are digging into the script’s evolution—and what the changes over the past two centuries reveal about human cognition and society.