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Wood and palm leaf - Late nineteenth to early twentieth century

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Book from Tamil region of India

This book is from the Tamil region of India, probably modern Tamil Nadu. It consists of pages made of palm leaf, bound together with string which runs through each leaf to a wooden board at either end. Dried palm leaves were used as paper for many centuries in India and South-East Asia, with manuscripts copied onto each leaf by hand.

The book contains sections of the Koran, the holy book of Islam, written in Tamil script. It is thought that the rounded scripts of many South-East Asian languages developed for ease of writing on palm leaf, which tends to split under more angular scripts.

Museum object number REDMG : 1946.22.1

length 15 inches, height 2 inches, width 2.5 inches

See related topic: World Collection: Belief