Oriya — 1100 AD, India

Oriya "to"

Oriya probably descended from Bengali, though some say Kalinga (a script so obscure I can’t find out much about it, and which unfortunately shares a name with a language spoken in the Phillipines).

Oriya looks quite different from the other Brahmi-derived scripts that I have talked about so far: it is much rounder and swoopier; instead of a straight, horizontal headline, many of its glyphs have a semi-circular-ish hoops at the top of the glyph instead.

The curvaceousness of Oriya is another example of technology influencing the writing system.   Oriya was mostly written on palm leaves, and straight lines will tend to tear or split palm leaves.  Hence, they made their lines curvy.

While I am not an expert on the distribution of palm trees in India, I note that the Orissa province of India (where Oriya is used), is used farther south than the previous Brahmi-derived scripts that I have talked about previously.  I will be blogging soon about the scripts of Southern India and Sri Lanka soon, and you might agree with me that they are even more curly and swoopy.

Links: Wikipedia, Ancient Scripts, Omniglot, Technology Development for Indian Languages: Oriya script details also Ancient Scripts Kalinga

About ducky

I'm a computer programmer professionally, currently working on mapping applications. I have been interested non-professionally for a long time in the effect on society on advances in communications technology -- things like writing, vowels, spaces between words, paper, etc.
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4 Responses to Oriya — 1100 AD, India

  1. I’ve seen it described as looking like a row of bald heads.

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