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The Lost Script of the Bagam

Konrad Tuchscherer
African Affairs
Vol. 98, No. 390 (Jan., 1999), pp. 55-77
Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal African Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/723684
Page Count: 23
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The Lost Script of the Bagam
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Abstract

This article presents new and important information on the Bagam script, an autochthonous writing system from Cameroon which has now fallen into extinction. Details of the script were first reported in the Journal of the African Society--the former title of African Affairs--almost eighty years ago. The original contribution on the script, however, was not published in its entirety. As a result, scholars interested in the Bagam script over the last seventy-five years have known little about the writing, including details of the script's characters, as these signs--although submitted for publication--were never published. The article relates important information on the history of the Bagam script: the record of its so-called 'discovery' in 1917, the suppression of its characters by the editor of the JAS, its subsequent feature in scholarly writing as a 'lost' script, and the author's own account of his investigation to locate information on the script. Most importantly, this article in African Affairs will, for the first time, reveal in print the Bagam script characters, adding a final chapter to the story of the Bagam script which commenced in the annals of the JAS almost eighty years ago.

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