Request: examples of the Avoiuli writing system

Do any TypeDrawers members have writing examples of the Avoiuli writing system? It's a script used by the Turaga indigenous movement on Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. There is little information about Avoiuli online other than what's on Wikipedia and Omniglot—which includes a few pictures and limited information. 

I'm aware this is a long shot so any information would be helpful. I also wish to know whether Avoiuli uses punctuation and has additional letters-forms not shown online.  

Image above from Omniglot

Image above from Wikipedia



  • Looks cool.
    Let me ping some key people.
  • Looks cool.
    Let me ping some key people.
    Thanks Hrant. 
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 466
    edited October 29
    I did some additional poking around, and by searching on the terme Turaga and Vanuatu, I found that, of the five languages of Pentecost Island, the Avoiuli script is used to write the Raga language, but it is also used to write Bislama, the English-based pidgin which is the most popular language throughout Vanuatu.

    Chief Viraleo Boborenvanua is the leader of this movement, called the Turaga Nation, and this alphabet is used at the Melanesian Institute of Science, Philosophy, Humanity and Technology (Bwatielen Borebore, Vovoraga, Mwaguana i Gotovigi), it was inspired by traditional sand drawings, so it is a new creation.

    This movement also has created its own currency, with a currency symbol:

    but I have now found this news about this from a blog:

    Thus, if Chief Vira Leo, as referred to in that article, has been jailed this movement may be in desuetude.
  • thanks Hrant and John, especially for the currency symbol.  :)

    FYI Before posting on Typedrawers I had pretty much exhausted all online resources. I reached out incase anyone had connections to resources/people who knew the script (which isn't likely but better to ask than not). I've now begun digging into Academic articles to see what can be found out.

    The following questions are what I'm trying to gain information on:

    1. Is the script an abjad—i.e do some letters have an initial, middle, final and possibly isolated form? I won't know this until I viewing handwriting samples. As Avoiuli lacks encoding, this information isn't online.

    2. Sources state the script is boustrophedon but do the non symmetrical letters flip in their construction? 

    3. One online source states there is a unique ductus to respresent every letter of the Latin alphabet (A-Z), but this is written as a 'throw away' comment without any citation. I also wonder about punctuation.

    4. The ductus of some forms is a little ambiguous—in particular the /i and /ng (see image from my initial post).

  • more images if anyone is interested:

    source (link)

    sourced from Wikipedia - Turaga Nation page (link)
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,665
    Is the script an abjad—i.e do some letters have an initial, middle, final and possibly isolated form?
    Terminological note: an abjad is a consonantal writing system in which (most) vowels are not normally written. Arabic and Syriac are examples of abjads that also have normative joining behaviour — hence different forms for letters depending on how they join —, but Hebrew, without such joining behaviour, is also an abjad.

    Avoiuli appears to be an alphabet, with full form letters for vowels which are not regularly omitted. It does seem to have joining behaviour, though, although it isn't clear whether this is simply looped joins between letters, like cursive Latin, or involves modification of some shapes to affect joins. There is a common, symmetrical element at the baseline of most letters that facilitates simple joins, so my guess is that most letters would not require any modification to be joined. If there are some letters that either do not join or that have a secondary, joining form — considering /e/ —, that wouldn't constitute joining behaviour of the kind involved in Arabic, and is something that could be handled at the glyph level with required contextual alternates — as in a Latin handwriting font —, rather than requiring character string analysis by a shaping engine.

    I recommend getting in touch with Debbie Anderson at the Script Encoding Initiative at Berkeley to see if any preliminary encoding work has been done on Avoiuli.
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