Nvshu (Women's Script) Custom
Name: Nvshu Custom
No. : Ⅹ-69
Year of Application: 2006
Applicant: Jiangyong County, Hunan Province
(Photo source: hunan.gov.cn)
Jiangyong Nvshu (women's script), the only gender character in the world, is specially used by women. Its development, inheritance and cultural messages carried by its characters constitute Nvshu custom. Jiangyong Nvshu is an ancient character of long-diamond-shape with fine and uniform strokes, looking like mosquitoes or ants. However, it became extinct 60 years ago due to various reasons.
Formation and Inheritance
Nvshu is likely to be created by women when they were embroidering and weaving, which is used for emotion exchange between women via recording their local dialect. The inheritance ways of Nvshu are as follows: family teaching, private tutoring, mutual learning, and self-study. Nvshu is mainly written on manuscript paper with cloth cover, scraps of paper, surface of fans, handkerchiefs, ribbons, etc.
[original type] Widow's complaints, sworn sisters, etc. This kind of work only represents Nvshu culture itself,
[secondary type] Crying marriage, narrative, harvest celebration, folk songs, sacrifice, etc for sharing culture among regions with relative openness.
[regeneration type] Translated work or rewritten work. It is a transplantation of traditional social culture, with the characteristic of liquidity.
As a special female literature, Nvshu has distinct female characteristics in presentation techniques. Rhetorical devices including metaphor and thimble are used in Nvshu works. The writer of Nvshu mainly compares herself and related things to "flower". The following thimble techniques are often adopted: scenery serves to mirror the mood, the last word of a sentence is the same as the first word of the next sentence.