Tengwar (singular tengwa - "letter, sign") is a writing system invented by the Noldorin elves. The first Tengwar (Sarati) were invented by Rúmil of Tirion and were not used in Middle-earth. The version popular among the Westron- and Elvish-speaking peoples of Middle-earth was invented by Fëanor, although it was based on the older version.

The Tengwar are a system designed for writing with a quill, as opposed to the runes (Cirth), for which reason they were not overly popular with dwarves. The main signs represent the consonants, with the vowels usually placed above as accent-like symbols (tehtar). In the later ages, new symbols were added to the original Fëanorian alphabet.

Examples of the Tengwar script can be found on the One Ring, the Gate of Moria, and the Book of Mazarbul in Moria (in the movies only partly).
Encyclopedia entry originally written by ~nólemë~