The Hanunoo Script

The Hanunoo are a Mangyan tribe from southeastern Mindoro, the seventh largest island in the Philippines. Their homeland is approximately 300 square miles, bounded by the mountainous home of the Buid on the northwest and north, and by the Tablas Strait on the east and southeast. To the south and southwest of Hanunoo-land, live the Ratagnon people.
     The Hanunoo still use a pre-Islamic, Indic-derived syllabary which they write by incising characters on bamboo.  The syllabary contains only 48 characters, three of which are vowels. Consonantal codas (final consonants of syllables) and glottal  stops are not indicated in the script, so some reading is context dependent requiring a certain linguistic aptitude.

Consonants in the Hanunoo script include:
        b d g h k l m n ng p r s t w y

Vowels are
        a   e/i   o/u

        The characters lala' [l] and rara' [r] differ only when written with "i" or "u" vowel marks. The Hanunoo script is generally written from bottom to top in columns which proceed from the left.

Hanunoo Links:

View the entire Hanunoo script.

View a sample of the Hanunoo script in 'amba:han verse.

Map of the Hanunoo homeland

Source: Conklin, Harold. 1953. Hanunoo-English Vocabulary. Berkeley: University of California Press. [University of California Publications in Linguistics 9:1-290]

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