Vai Alphabet


The Vai syllabary visually represents the Vai language, one of the several African languages spoken in Liberia. It is believed that the creator of this alphabet is Momolu Duwalu Bukele. The script first appeared in documents in the 1830s. In 1952, the University of Liberia added a few additional symbols and standardized the script.

According to various theories, the Vai syllabary may have been influenced by the Nsibidi pictographic script that existed in West Africa. Alternatively, it could have been inspired by the  Cherokee alphabet 13A0–13F4 . It is known that one of the literate Native Americans, Austin Curtis, migrated to Liberia and, after marrying a woman from a noble family, became one of the Vai leaders.

All the syllabary characters can be found in VaiA500–A63F .