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Dai people create "civilization on palm leaves"

ChinaView.cn, Thursday, April 16, 2009


An artist presents newly-finished palm-leaf manuscripts of Buddhist sutras in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Yunnan Province. Palm-Leaf sutras refer to the Buddhist classics inscribed on palm leaves, which are popular among the Dai ethnic groups in southwest China. Dai people also inscribe articles on folklore, history, medical science, education, and literature on palm leaves, dubbed "civilization on palm leaves". The practice originated in India and was introduced into China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). There are 577 Buddhist temples in Xishuangbanna storing more than 50,000 copies of Palm-Leaf sutras. China has launched a program to rescue this cultural heritage since 2003 with an aim to collect and publish 100 volumes.


An artist cuts palm leaves during a process to make Buddhist sutras near a temple in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China's Yunnan Province. Palm-Leaf sutras refer to the Buddhist classics inscribed on palm leaves, which are popular among the Dai ethnic groups in southwest China.


An artist puts palm leaves into boiling water in a process of making Buddhist sutras in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture.


An artist airs boiled palm leaves which will be used to make Buddhist sutras.


An artist engraves on the dried palm leaves.


An artist puts oil on engraved palm leaves.


Buddhist monks read Beiye Jing, palm-leaf manuscripts of Buddhist sutras, during a blessing for the new year of the calendar of Dai ethnic group.


An artist shows some dry palm leaves which will be used to make Buddhist sutras.

source: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-04/16/content_11195873.htm

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