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Mi'Kmaq hieroglyph theory for rare VM glyphs

Posted: Fri May 01, 2020 11:10 am
by Bunny
The Mi'kmaq (also Micmac) are unusual in that they have (been given) a true hieroglyphic writing system (now Latin alphabet) which is not much used now, and for which there is very little online material available. The ideograms/pictograms were first conceptualised by Recollect missionary LeClercq ~1691, based on the peoples use of recording short messages with marks on bark, as an aid for recalling long religious materials. The method was compounded by later missionaries and by Mailiard ~1738. Different materials show some variation and slightly different styles.

A good amount of the rarer VM glyphs look identical or very close to those seen in Mi'Kmaq material. Given that hieroglyphs are combined in strings also to make new words and ideas and looking at the physical make up of these words I think that most of the rarer VM glyphs can be accounted for. Unlike Egyptian there is no comprehensive dictionary of the hieroglyphs or their grammar (there is via Latin alphabet but doesn't really help). Anyway after trawling through what is easily accessible on line the glyph for now is on f1r and one with reference to time, which led me straight back to Steve Ekwall and off on more paths. As his most famous motto is "the time is now", I wondered if he had come across this language and been reminded of it subconsciously.

LeClercq fits into the time frame of Baresch's 1639 letter to Kircher, and Mailiard to Kircher's Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1654). Given the church had access to education and manuscripts it is possible the Mi'kmaq hieroglyphic writing system was influenced by knowledge of Egyptian (consciously or subconsciously) and could help understand some of the Mi'kmaq gylphs where there is little information.

I'm not suggesting whole VM text it is written in Mi'kmaq but the rarer VM glyphs could be as one option. I don't have access to academic libraries or online resources but if anyone does I think it is worth further investigation. Various of the lines, squiggles etc that make up words are certainly able make up various VM glphs. The circle/line shapes on f67v are also found in "The Miawpukek Mi'kmawey Prayer Book"/" Buch das gut, enthaltend den Katechismus, Betrachung, Gesand". Printed in Germany in 1866(Archives and Special Collections, Memorial University, Newfoundland). Same source as also has "Micmac catechism"/"Buch das gut
enthaltend den Katechismus, Betrachtung, Gesang".

Word examples:
Upside down pi means "now"
l_°/\ means "great spirit"

There are a couple of YouTube videos, and some manuscripts (without translation). Also Anthon script looks to be very similar. There are also a few short religious texts with translation.


Re: Mi'Kmaq hieroglyph theory for rare VM glyphs

Posted: Fri May 15, 2020 7:22 am
by proto57
Hi Bunny: I had a chance to look up the Mi'kmaq written language, and do agree that there are some stylistic similarities:


As was the case for many Native American languages, there was no phonetic, written form of them. As you also note, Wikipedia states that,

"In addition, it is not believed that pre-contact Miꞌkmaq had any form of written language."

But then this site: ... does claim that,

"Mi'kmaq is written alphabetically today, but in the past it was written in pictographs. Though these pictographs were modified by Jesuit missionaries, who used them to teach Christian prayers to Micmac people, they probably predated European contact."

So which is it? Maybe something in between, in which some of the original Mi'kmaq hieroglyphics were reused by Europeans, in order the express their language as an entirety? I think that most Native American hieroglyphic writing was not phonetic, but representational. In any case, in a general sense... although our overall ideas are very different... I do believe, and have often said, that various "New World" influences may have found their way into the Voynich. In the past I have noted other European attempts to learn, then invent appropriate phonetic characters in order to be able to write down languages that had no phonetic written symbols. In this post: ... nd-optics/ ... I show this image of Harriot's work, "phonetizing" Algonquin:


And of course the object I term the "Bird Glyph" on f1r, which is a dead ringer for the paragraph marker used by Spanish MesoAmerican missionaries, and seemingly used in much the same way: ... uyt-et-al/

So in general, I agree with you there may be some influence of some European invented phonetic intepretations of various Native American languages in the Voynich, as also do the Comegys, Tucker, Janick, Bax, I think Talbot and Montemurro, and others... We probably all have different reasons as to "why" that might be, but at least we all have that in common. Ain't that rare?


Re: Mi'Kmaq hieroglyph theory for rare VM glyphs

Posted: Fri May 15, 2020 6:57 pm
by Bunny
I will come back with specific examples of specific VM glyphs vs Mi'kmaq. Refering only to few elaborate glyphs, unusual glyphs and some astronomical ones and the wierd thing on f116v above the lamb. The interesting thing when you look at enough Mi'kmaq manuscript folios is how the simple glyphs can be combined to produce a more complex words or tought, maybe the gallows and very curly type gallows are like that. The handwritten rather than printed manuscripts show much variation in personal writing style and some much more like the VM.

Again I refer only to a few VM glyphs not the general text, like Greek words inserted into a Latin text, and not that the VM is Mi'kmaq. Or even that the influence could not be via a common earlier source ie Egyptian.