Written Bassa

In the late 1800s a young Bassa man went to study in the US, eventually graduating with a degree in medicine from Syracuse University. When Dr. Thomas Flo Narvin Lewis returned to Liberia in 1910, he brought, besides a medical degree, a Bassa alphabet he had developed. This was one of five indigenous scripts in Liberia.

Bassa Vah wood carving
Article 1 of UN Declaration of Human Rights in Bassa Vah (courtesy of Tim Brookes)

A more recent, Latin script is used for the Bassa Bible. All the characters for this later script are available in unicode, so they should be viewable from most browsers. For the character mappings used on this site, see the character map.

To type Bassa, you need to remap your keyboard to include special Bassa characters and tone marks. For Windows computers, you can get a keyboard conversion program from Tavultesoft. For more information, see also SIL’s site.

The Bassa Vah script has been submitted and approved as a unicode character set by Charles Riley and Michael Everson. With the correct fonts installed, computers can show the old Vah script as well as the newer Bassa.

You can type the Bassa Roman or Vah script on a Linux computer. The files you need on a Linux computer are here. For additional details on typing Bassa with Linux, contact Tim Slager.

The Bassa translation team developed a word list while they worked on the translation. Our thanks to the Translation team:

  • Don Slager
  • Seokin Payne
  • Robert Glaygbo
  • Amos Gbaa
  • Tim Meece
  • William Boen

Congratulations for your persistence and dedication, which have led to the completion and publication of the entire Bassa Bible!