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Antiquarian, Rare & Collectable Books, and South East Asian Art & Antiques
Antiquarian, Rare & Collectable Books, and South East Asian Art & Antiques

Burmese kammavaca Buddhist manuscript 2

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SKU FAR100091

Burmese kammavaca Buddhist manuscript 2



This kammavaca Buddhist manuscript consists of 2 covers and 11 leaves.

Kammavaca texts typically contain religious instructions for monks. These were normally presented to novice monks, being commissioned by lay people, gaining merit in the process.

The outer leaves are fashioned from lacquered wood to provide a rigid finish.

The leaves are also extensively lacquered and decorated with gold and most likely to be based around palm leaves (although the material base can vary).

This beautiful example is highly decorated and the leaves carry 6 lines of Pali script as well as Burmese numbering.

With 11 leaves this may or not be a complete text, but there are examples of complete texts with this number of leaves. 

The small hole in each leave was so they could be placed over a bamboo skewer when being read.

Kammavaca in this condition are increasingly rare as they often split into individual leaves for display purposes.

The inside of the outer leaves carries an inscription, which roughly translated provides the following information:

First Row is time ; 1327 Year ( 638 different with English Year so around 1965 ( 1327+ 638), Month of Warso ( around July or August) , Dated 13th
2nd Row is address: Chout City ( Southside) (Central part of Burma where there used to be Oil/ Petrol in English Colony). It was a clerical workers town, and the position of the donor noted as "Clerkman" (this seems to indicate a middle class person who seems to be proud to address as this position – because a British colonized clerk earned quite a lot and was well educated – only applying to a  handful of people) 
3rd Row is the donor : Mr Han Tin & Miss Chaw with Children and Grandchildren 
4th Row is blessing : May God Bless their good givings

Also indicated was the is artist name Miss Khin Thein and her father Mr Sein and his title and the place (Mandalay)


Covers: 54.2cm x 13.2cm
Text leaves: 52.5cm x 12.7cm


circa 1965