Tibet reports progress in preservation of palm-leaf manuscripts

10:07, June 14, 2011      

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Preservationists in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region said they had completed registration, sorting and photocopying of the region's palm-leaf manuscripts.

"The tasks we've finished pave the way for further research and better preservation of palm-leaf manuscripts," said Tenzin Namgyal, vice director of the region's cultural heritage administration.

Palm-leaf manuscripts, which originated in India, refer to the Sanskirt classics, including Buddhist scriptures, ancient Indian literature and codes, inscribed on the leaves of palm trees.

According to a massive survey that was launched four years ago, Tibet has more than 4,300 "pages" or 426 volumes of palm-leaf manuscripts, most of which were introduced to Tibet from India from the seventh to thirteenth century, according to Tenzin Namgyal.

The manuscripts are stored in Buddhist monasteries, museums and research institutions in the regional capital of Lhasa as well as in Shannan and Xigaze regions, he said.

A large number of palm-leaf manuscripts in India had been damaged due to religious conflicts, warfare and the hot humid climate, but those brought to Tibet were well preserved, he said.

Source: Xinhua
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