If woman could write herself, what would the scripts be? Crafting herself, her very existence, in her own sound. Creating symbols of that sound, while capturing them on paper. What would that design embody? What curves, lines, strokes, and other paintings, by stroke’s design, do women imagine their sound to be? Patterned designs reflecting their perception and view of life, and the meaning of society? Womanhood is a rather fascinating arena, is it not? She is vast, diverse, and versatile. That’s the magic and beauty of her existence!
If we could imagine a language of woman, written by women, for women, what would it be? Prior to our modern times, one is left to inquire if such a thing even existed. Ah! The imaginations run wild to even ask such a thing. That is what makes it fascinating and alluring. What poems, songs, games, and thoughts were devised, in the creation of woman’s language? Did this language unite women more, and truly allowed for them to walk on the path of being, our Sister’s keeper? Through woman’s language, were women more committed to the sanctity and loyalty of womanhood? What trust was garnished through this language? How did women protect each other’s interest? Safeguarding their Sisters in the womb of womanhood. Because we were not alive during that time, we may not know. However, for one particular language, we know, because it was. . .written!
The language of Nushu, was the language of woman. Literally! This particular culture of women, who were shunned, and removed from the arena of man’s knowledge, took advantage of their solitude, together. What was viewed as a weakness, became their strength. In their isolation from a “man’s world,” they created. . .their own. This is the world of. . .Nushu.
It originated in Shangjiang Xu of Jiangyong County of the Human province of China. In the comforts of the Puwei Village, to be exact. It is here, where that sacred sisterhood of women, began. In a time where women were not allowed to go to school; living under a brutal marriage system. One that did not acknowledge or honor her existence and right to life. Deforming her body with elegant shoes, that were transformed into nightmarish prisons. This was a reality, where the hatred of women persisted. Women were taught to partake in the “game,” of backstabbing, treachery, and the sabotage of fellow women, and their dreams.
Yet, in this world. In this sacred world of Chinese women, and womanhood, women were sacred. They were cherished, nourished, and adored. And, they’re fellow Sisters ensured that each one was. . .loved! This is the world of Nushu. It was a magical world, that became a reality. In this world, women were centered. They were not measured by a man’s status, or his level of influence. In the world of Nushu, woman’s voice is heard. It is spoken. Woman defines herself through feminine lettering. Its shaping, lining, and circular motions, reflects her interpretation of her Being. Her own authenticity, and mental reflections as to how woman naturally matriculates through the Earth’s shaping.
This world of Nushu is colorful. Poetry is created. Art is exemplified. Songs of sisterhood and the healing nature of woman, to her Sisters, are celebrated. Women lavish themselves in nature’s womb. For it is in nature, where the word first began. And, it was in nature where humans used ink and paper, to reflect the artistry of sound. Clearly, in the time of Nushu, women of this Sisterhood celebrated the air of peace. It was nourishing and nutritious for women to celebrate each other. Allowing their mystique to reflect understanding, and mastery, of women’s holistic relationships to each other; rather, than for a competition, or competing for men.
No. Instead, women used a motherly tongue to write poetry to other women. Singing songs of praise, adoration, and the beauty of Sisterhood to each other. In this paradise, where women minded “their tongue,” words were sent with love and encouragement. Love began with words. Women can not give love to a community, if they first, do not give love to each other. Unsurprisingly, this special world was filled with love. And, when a woman from this world was selected for marriage, what a sad day it was! For it meant, that she would not only be away from her Sisters, but that she would enter a world of subjugation from her husband. Poetry was written about this. In fact (based on observed videos), marriage was, unfortunately, a time of sorrow. Nushu poetry reflected this.
One of the fascinations of the Nushu language, its development, and performance, was its. . .secrecy. Only women could speak it. That culture of Chinese women, who sustained and spoke the language for a given time. Of course, it made sense. Since the men of that nation demeaned, devalued, and belittled women, for the ego, they had no right to hear. . .her tongue. Her natural tongue. One that spoke, who she truly was. Her Being when she wasn’t being manipulated, cut, dissected, construed, deformed, or shaped like a doll, for the male gaze. A gaze that was more of scorn, rather than a fascination of the eye.
If woman had her tongue, what would it be? What would she say? How would she feel about her current state of existence? Her natural words, when she isn’t being programmed or given a script, she did not write. If woman could speak, what symbols would she craft and design, that demonstrates the aesthetics of her. . .womanhood? What tone would she use? How would she use her tongue to speak of another woman, who crossed her path?
Nushu is one language, which conveyed how women would truly see themselves, when isolated from a space, which taught them that they were irrelevant. A space that devalued their natural existence, simply because ego could not exist. . .as they. This magical language of Chinese women, who showed that they could celebrate their Being, as themselves, is a lesson to women, everywhere. Language is powerful. The written tongue is powerful. And, once women learn to mind our tongue, when it comes to the sacredness of other women, we have the power to transform any space, any land, any nation. . .of our dwelling.