New materials: palm leaves

Palm leaf manuscript (Talapatra)

The leaves of the Borassus (Palmyra) palm were used as writing materials across South and Southeast Asia from at least the fifth century CE until the nineteenth century. The leaves are dried and trimmed then threaded onto strings and protected by wooden covers. A note at the end of this manuscript tells us that it was written on Thursday 31 March 1015 by a scribe named Sujātabhadra in a Nepalese monastery called Hlāṃ. It contains a Buddhist text written in Sanskrit on the Perfection of Wisdom and includes numerous painted miniatures illustrating the Buddha, Bodhisattvas and other divinities.

This manuscript has been digitised in full and can be viewed by clicking 'Open Digital Library' below.

MS Add.1643

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