Nomos initially meant “pasture,” eventually evolving as habitation then, “habitual practice, usage, or custom.” Nomos again evolved into something people “believed in, practiced or held to be right.” This definition is applicable to rhetoric because it’s a process of communicating culturally constructed beliefs, and is an argument for replacing Truth with socially constructed contextual “truth.” Nomos’ implied relativity and spelling reminded me of the Afrocentric term nommo, the generative power of the spoken word. I initially thought Molefi Asanti reconfigured nomos Afrocentrically; however, after researching nommo I developed another hypothesis.
Nommo originates from the Dogon people of
Nommo’s creative element reflects Jarratt’s definition: “Nomos in its most comprehensive meaning stands for order, valid and binding on those who fall under its jurisdiction.” Both generate “truth” socially through language. However, unlike the secular Sophistic nomos as a logic, nommo and spirituality/god are inextricable, it is “magic power”. Thus nommo is also inextricable from African culture despite its relativism. This combined with the Sophist’s extensive travels and multicultural experience led me to postulate nommo came first, and through their travels, the Sophists discovered nommo, translated the concept into their secular logic, adapting nommo to their, for lack of a better term, nomos. Obviously I cannot test this hypothesis here, but I predict our incomplete and Eurocentric record of the Sophists and Western philosophy would not be conclusive.
 Susan C. Jarratt’s Rereading the Sophists: Classical Rhetoric Refigured p. 41
 Jarratt p. 42
 From Maulana Karenga’s essay “Nommo, Kawaida, and Communicative Practice: Bringing Good into the World” in the book Understanding African American Rhetoric: Classical Origins to Contemporary Innovations edited by Ronald L. Jackson II and Elaine B. Richardson. (p. 8)
 Molefi Kete Asante’s book The Afrocentric Idea 1997 p. 95
 Karenga p. 9
 Jarratt p. 60
 William Handley’s article, “The House a Ghoast Built: “Nommo,” Allegory, and the Ethics of Reading in Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’” from Contemporary Literature 1995 p. 677
 Ironic use of the scientific method!!!!!11