Sunday, September 14, 1119 (year 239 of the Newar Samvat in the month of Ashvina)
Part of a set. See all set records
Covers: Gum tempera, colors, and paper on wood; pages: gum tempera and ink on palm leaves
Covers overall: 6.5 x 57 x 1.5 cm (2 9/16 x 22 7/16 x 9/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1938.301.a
Wooden covers of pothi manuscripts are called patli.
Pieces of paper, sandalwood paste, vermilion powder, and spices like turmeric and saffron were ritually added to the top cover of this manuscript during its veneration in ceremonies honoring the Buddha’s teachings. Additionally, this wooden cover would have protected the fragile palm-leaf pages inside. A cord attached to a peg on the left side of the cover would have passed through the two binding holes and wrapped around the manuscript in order to evenly exert pressure and keep the leaves tight. The entire volume would have also been wrapped in cloth to further protect it from the elements and insect damage. Books in this format are very portable, as evidenced by the manuscript’s northward journey from the Vikramashila Monastery in eastern India to the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal.
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