Apr 24, 2014
Apr 24, 2014
Aug 12, 2022
Apr 24, 2014
Aug 12, 2022
Aug 12, 2022
Aug 12, 2022

Kammavacha: Buddhist Ordination Text

Kammavacha: Buddhist Ordination Text

1800s

Myanmar

(Burma)

Cover: lacquer, gilding, and glass appliqué on wood; leaves: lacquer and gilding on cloth

Covers: 13.1 cm (5 3/16 in.)

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1945.172

Did you know?

The Pali text of this manuscript is written in Burmese square script, which is also known as "tamarind seed script."

Description

In premodern Burma, lay people commissioned lavishly ornamented manuscripts for ceremonial occasions, when officiants would read aloud from the text. The text, written in black lacquer, is in the language of Pali written in a Burmese script. It contains ordination rites and procedures for monastic ceremonies.

The second to the last page is covered with intricately drawn, winged celestial beings (nats) in gestures of praise. They fly amid intertwining vegetation—denoting bounty—that grows from serpentine forms that refer to rain clouds. Lionlike forms inhabit the space with them. The top and bottom covers are equally ornamented with jeweled floral patterning.

See also

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