Swap – Cheryl Penn, “Where I am at – Book 4”

You might remember that when I first finished “absences“, I offered to swap it. Some people agreed to a swap, and it is time that I show off some of what I received in return. Cheryl received my first book for her encyclopaedia of everything but her book was the second that reached me. – It had to travel far, coming from South Africa. The structure is that of an accordion book with a little booklet sewed into the first valley fold with a three hole pamphlet stitch. The pages feature different letters on several levels. I can make out a lot of “bbbb”‘s and “B”‘s, but there is also some writing, of which I have not figured out whether it is asemic. Also other glyphs can be made out and different writing is layered over each other.

According to the booklet, she explores here glyphs from the Bhubezi writing system. The borders between decorative strokes, letters from the latin alphabet and these glyphs is flowing and not always clear to me.

detail of some B’s

Those of you who have read this blog for a while know that I am very interested in writing systems as such, and I am intruiged by this skript. Cheryl’s explanation in the booklet raises more questions than it explains. What is that skript? Who are these people? So I asked her, and she told me:

the Bhubezi writing system is one I have devised myself as part of an ongoing mythology – The Women Who Hold Up the World

On her website I found out a bit more. If I understand correctly (and it is all – suposedly deliberately – mysterious), she invented these Bhubezi women, and made several books about their culture, their stories and also invented a writing system for them. They are magical, mysterious and powerful women. – But all there is is just fragments, and I find it hard to understand what she made up and other’s picked up on, or the other way around. The whole makeup is really beautiful to me, enriched with mystery, and she manages to manufacture a genuine atmosphere of old.

another details – maybe showing some Bhubezi glyphs

Apart from raising my interest in this skript on an intellectual level, the book as such is also a valued addition to my collection. I find this layering of different skripts visually interesting, and it is funny to think that some lines might or might not carry meaning.

Thank you very much for swapping, Cheryl!

2 replies on “Swap – Cheryl Penn, “Where I am at – Book 4””

  1. Another great swap: you are doing well with this. : ]
    I would love to see this book in the flesh as I am fascinated by alphabets and secret scripts.

  2. What a neat book. How delightful to get that in the mail! I’ve always liked the idea of invented scripts and such.

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