The Notorious B.I.G. | Wu Tang Clan | Gang Starr | Illustrations
Folios from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita (Perfection of Wisdom). India (West Bengal) or Bangladesh, Pala period, early 12th century.
The earliest Buddhist palm-leaf books originated in northeastern India, in what is now Bihar; West Bengal; and Bangladesh. Their components were simple: talipot palm leaves — cut, boiled and dried — and a palette of organic pigments limited to red, yellow, blue, green, black and white.
The palm-leaf sheets varied in length, but were seldom more than a few inches wide. They were stacked like slats in Venetian blinds and bound by threads passed through two holes in the center of each sheet. Rather than forming a single surface, as in modern palm-leaf paintings, the sheets in books were meant to be seen one at a time.
…palm-leaf manuscripts, like most art, had multiple uses. They circulated spiritual information. They functioned as protective charms. They served as religious offerings, gifts from which karmic returns were expected. And they became objects of worship.