Accordion style khoi paper manuscript with Khom script in black ink interspersed infrequently with pairs of paintings which run at the ends of two pages. Manuscript tells the story of Phra Malai, a Buddhist monk, who visited heaven and hell, receiving instruction from Maitreya in heaven. He subsequently returns and transmits what he has learned to his followers. Most likely a village manuscript not produced with royal backing. The text is usually chanted at funerals and is interspersed with extracts from the Pali canon Abhidhamma and the Thai Phra Malai tale. Donor names are penciled on the cover. Images include a depiction of the constellations around Mt. Meru, the center of Hindu and Buddhist cosmology, around which celestial objects were imagined to revolve. Sides are brown. Both ends have slightly shiny brown colored painting, lacquer or glue. Manuscript has come apart in several places.
Gift of the Estate of Elizabeth Lyons, Keeper of the Asian Collections, University Museum
Current & Past Exhibitions:
Reconsidering Asian Material Texts Workshop (19 Apr 2013)
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