AGE: 19th Century or earlier
CONSTRUCTION: – Palm Leaf, wooden end covers
DESCRIPTION: – Burmese Palm Leaf Pali Prayer Manuscript – Paysar. Sasijyo frayed in places and covering cloth tattered
DEPTH: – 7cm
WEIGHT:– 2.6 kg.
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A 19th Century, possibly earlier Burmese Palm Leaf Pali Prayer Manuscript referred to as Paysar or parabaik in Myanmar/Burma, it comes with an old sasijyo, (a hand woven ribbon which commonly binds Paysara and Kammavacas)’, wrapped in the tattered cloth it was wrapped in when we acquired it.
Typically the wooden end covers are red lacquered with the edges of the palm leaf pages gilded, the wooden ends on this manuscript has also been gilded with gold leaf indicating that it more than likely was used by a senior monk in a monastery, especially given the thickness of it, as it more than likely refers to the Tipitaka in more detail. These palm leaf manuscripts typically have a hole a few centimeters in from the end of each leaf in which a bamboo stick is threaded through to keep the pages together.
The Maha-wei-yan-bon-tha monastery in Mandalay houses a large collection/library of these Pali Prayer manuscripts as well as ancient documents and the beautiful gilded and decorative Kammavaca. They are stored on shelves and drawers behind glass doors which helps to keep them dust free, this area of Myanmar is hot most of the year so air conditioning to preserve these treasures would be more desirable for their preservation.
Hopefully this will come in the near future. Presently to try and preserve these manuscripts they use naphthalene for woodworm prevention and taken from the cabinets to air once a year.