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Buddhist Sutra
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Buddhist Sutra

Description Provenance Credit
Description This manuscript is a beautiful example of a Buddhist Sutra written in Burmese script. The pages are palm leaf, and the manuscript is bound with plain lacquered wood on the top and bottom. The edges of the palm leaf pages are carefully gilded. The manuscript is bound with a tablet-woven binding tape (called sazigyo). The binding tape on this manuscript contains Burmese script, as is typical of sazigyo. Though this one has not been translated yet, typical script on a sazigyo usually gives the name of the manuscript's donor and a sutta, or excerpt, from a Buddhist text. Each Burmese manuscript should have a sazigyo, though the two are often sold separately if one is destroyed by elements or when they are purchased in the market by collectors. It is a typical example of a palm leaf manuscript in which the leaves of a palm tree are cut and dried and then the text is inscribed onto the leaf. While some palm leaf manuscripts might also be illustrated, these examples are relatively rare; this one contains only text. The completed leaves are numbered and tied together by string. The physical creation of a palm leaf manuscript is the responsibility of a monk or novice monk and the completed books are then stored in manuscript chests at the monastery. However, the patron of the book is most often a Buddhist lay person who sponsors the monk to make the book.
Provenance Brenda Johnson, Baltimore, 1993, acquired at no cost;
Credit Gift of Brenda Marie Johnson in Honor of Aung San Suu Kyi, 2012

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early 20th century
ink on palm leaves with gold edges between lacquered wooden boards, woven textile band
(Manuscripts & Rare Books)
Accession Number
Outside dimensions, H: 5 1/8 × L: 19 13/16 × W: 2 9/16 in. (13 × 50.3 × 6.5 cm)
Location Within Museum
Not On View


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