The well-known Women's Writing 著名女书法家-江永女书

The Jiangyong Nv Shu(江永女书Jiāngyǒng nǚshū) is the only existing female characters in the world. It is a writing system exclusively used by women in the Jiangxu area of Jiangyong County of about 20,000 people in the south tip of Hunan. Nv Shu characters are rhomboid, with slim and regular strokes that look like ants and mosquitoes. As such, the characters are nicknamed(a nickname is an informal name for someone or something) "long-leg mosquito writing" or "ant writing". The characters are used only by women, so they are called "Nv Shu" (or "Women’s Writing") in academia. It is known to experts and scholars that Jiangyong Nv Shu is an age-old writing system. But there are no historical relics or records about Nv Shu, the time of its origin cannot be traced.

Nv Shu is based on the unique Yongming dialect spoken in the area wher Nv Shu is used. Unlike Chinese characters, the ways and means to record things in Nv Shu are very special. Homophones can be interchanged and a verse poem of over 1,000 characters with 7 characters in each line can be composed using the mere 400 or so Nv Shu characters. Nv Shu is handed down from generation to generation through family education and word of mouth among relatives and friends. Nv Shu is closely linked with women’s own affairs like marriage, birthday and folk custom activities like temple fairs etc. The functions and values of Nv Shu are put into full play on these occasions.

The structures of Nv Shu characters use Chinese characters as reference, but there’s no direct link between the two systems. Meanwhile, apart from serving as a writing system, Nv Shu can also be woven to cloths or belts in patterns for adornment(an adornment is something that is used to make a person or thing more beautiful).

Nv Shu is of great research value in a variety of fields, including linguistic philology, history, archeology, anthropology, women studies, folklore, sociology, aesthetics, cultural history of nationalities and folk literature.

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