Ratmalana, Sri Lanka: Sarvodaya Vishva Lekha, 1997. quarto. 350p. Profusely illustrated. An in-depth study of rare palm leaf manuscripts in temples, museums and private collections in Sri Lanka. Besides an extensive survey of manuscripts relating to Buddhism, traditional medicine, social customs, music and items of archaeological interest, there are chapters on the paleographic development, the methods of conservation of palm leaf documents, and hand drawings made over a 12 year study in the major musems and temples. The author notes that palm leaf manuscripts originally were stacked on wooden shelves and stored in the temple shrine room. Those with religious significance were wrapped in silk and kept in the inner sanctum of the temple. The author writes: "I have also observed paritta ceremonies in the Sir Lankan Buddhist temples and homes where a manuscript copy of the Pita Pota text is carried in procession on the top of a lay peson's head from the library to the hall in which the monks will chant. Such gestures also done for relic caskets indicated respect for an object by placing it uon one's head. This is one of the original editions in hardcover which after distribution to universities and museums went out-of--print. A smaller paper back version was issued but its copies also are exhausted. Inscribed by the author.
(Inventory #: 018782)
General Antiquarian; First Editions; Americana; Autographs and Ephemera; Book Arts; Fine bindings and sets
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