The Lost Language Behind Project Unity
In our up-and-coming collection named Project Unity, we incorporate symbols from an ancient system of communications called Nsibidi, originating in southeastern Nigeria and southwestern Cameroon. The ideographic alphabet represented abstract concepts or actions, which enabled communication among various languages. Nsibidi consists of close to a thousand symbols that depict words like ‘mirror’, ‘voyage’, ‘leopard skin’, and ‘unity’, which we focus on in the new collection.Due to the presence of western education, Nsibidi, which was once looked at as a sacred language, is widely mysterious to modern Igbos and Ekoi. Though the use of the written language has reduced a considerable amount, artists like Obinna Igboobinna Eze has used it in his art to preserve the history of Nigeria before the arrival of Europeans. The major Marvel movie, Black Panther, also paid tribute to its African roots by using Nsibidi as an inspiration for the written Wakandan language seen on-screen. At Femi Aina New York, we strive to continue the importance of sharing the history of Nigeria through our clothing to spread awareness of our heritage and the beauty that lies within it.