Bottom cover, from a Manuscript of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines (Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita-sutra)

Sunday, September 14, 1119 (year 239 of the Newar Samvat in the month of Ashvina)
Location: not on view
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Wooden covers helped to protect the fragile palm-leaf pages and keep the leaves compact.

Description

Palm-leaf manuscripts in the pothi format are recognizable by their long and horizontal shapes. In contrast to Western-style books that require one to turn the pages left-to-right or right-to-left, pothi are read by flipping the pages with a vertical motion. The palm-leaf pages would have been bound together by a cord attached to a peg that was run through the two binding holes on the top and bottom covers. The spot for the peg is still visible on the left side of this cover. When not in use, the manuscript would have been wrapped in ribbons and textiles that protected it from dust, moisture, and pests.
Bottom cover, from a Manuscript of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines (Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita-sutra)

Bottom cover, from a Manuscript of the Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines (Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita-sutra)

Sunday, September 14, 1119 (year 239 of the Newar Samvat in the month of Ashvina)

Eastern India, Bihar, Vikramashila Monastery. Painting: Nepal, Kathmandu

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