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Manuscripts

Kammavacha

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Kammavacha
19th Century A.D.

Language: Pali Script: Burmese
Materials: Copper
Dimensions: L: 54 W: 10.5 cm.
Acc. No. 51.20

This long copper sheet, the central part devoted to the text inscribed in Burmese though Pali, the main diction of Buddhist texts, being its language, and the side spaces, to pictures: stylized human figures within a square frame, is a folio from Kammavacha, one of the most popular Burmese Buddhist texts. Kammavacha draws its gist from various Vinay-granths and is devoted to elaborating the rules of monastic life. The inscription has been done in the raised format. Beautifully inscribed it has been rendered in black colour against a red background adorned with wavy pattern.

The Indic character of engravings, foliage patterns and the style of figures reflect Indian influence that South-East Asian art reveals since ancient times. The identity of the anthropomorphic figures in side spaces is not known these might however be the Buddhist Lokapalas, The burnished golden shade of the copperplates makes the manuscript an exquisite work of art.

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