Posted February 28, 2018 by GP Manalo in Movies/TV

The Cultural Influences of Marvel’s Black Panther

3.) Wakandan Language and Calligraphy


In the movie, everyone who lives in Wakanda spoke an unfamiliar language at some point, but this isn’t a fictional dialect akin to the various tongues such as Elvish or Orcish in The Lord of the Rings.

The symbols seen in Wakanda’s art and architecture is based on the Nsibidi script that originates from Nigeria. According to research, Nsibidi is possibly the oldest form of nonverbal communication in human history, being almost 4000 years old. Bearing more than 500 symbols with many of them representing love affairs – symbols about war and conflict are usually kept secret – Nsibidi has been found on various pre-colonial artifacts and sites all over the world, a result of the African diaspora and slave trade.  


As for Wakanda’s spoken language, the Wakandans primarily use Xhosa – the so-called “clicking language” due to its unique pronunciation of the letter “x” that is spoken by more than 7.6 million people in South Africa. But to emphasize how isolated they are from Wakandan society, the isolated Jabari tribe use the Yoruba dialect, which is used in Nigeria, when talking to one another.   



GP Manalo

G.P. Manalo is a student by day, and a resident tortured writer by night. Writing to keep him sane from all the Business School papers and presentations piling up each week.