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Writing of the Americas
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This paper aims to highlight the different forms of writing within the Americas, establish connections between the systems, and discuss the impact of European colonization. Writing systems within the American Continents contain a vast array of different indigenous systems that first started around 1000-900 BCE and spread throughout Mesoamerica into varying communities innovated to make their writing systems. The writing systems discussed are Olmec, Zapotec, Maya, Epi-Olmec, Teotihuacan, Aztec, Mixtec, Khipus, Cree, Cherokee, and Inuktitut writing systems. Primary sources of each system, secondary sources that discuss and synthesize these primary sources, policies, laws, and other cultural materials discussed within these indigenous communities are used throughout the paper to further the discussion. The impact of colonization on the writing systems of the Americas creates a division between pre-and post-contact systems that show the extent of colonial powers. This paper also discusses the writing systems that are still in use and their community's development of revitalization tools and resources. The writing systems of the Americas are an integral part of history, showcasing the people who have lived there for many thousands of years.