Instances of the use of religion as a strategic tool for political gain are common in history.\nIn Sri Lanka:\nBy the second half of the seventeenth century the religious scripture \u2013 Kammavaca were no longer available on the island and ordinations were rarely held.\nWhile religion flourished in the Mon country (part of present day Myanmar) as a result of the pious efforts by devout men, across the Bay of Bengal in Sri Lanka the teachings of Gautama Buddha gradually waned.\nThe Dutch, in a calculated move to counter the growing influence of the Portuguese priests who had in the 1570s managed to convert Dhammapala, the chief of Colombo, to Catholicism, organized the exchange of religions missions with the Buddhist kingdom or Rakhaing, on the west coast of Myanmar.\nIn 1684, forty monks from Myannmar arrived in Ceylon with sacred texts and as a result of the visit, ordinations resumed in Ceylon.\nInteresting strategy!\nHere are two Kammavaca Manuscripts that besides being religious works, are also works of art.\n\nNote that there are 5 lines of lacquered script on each page.\nNote also the character of the border present between any two lines of text. Unlike floral curvilinear patterns, what we see here is a neatly hatched border called yazamat.\nBoth these features are distinct characteristic of manuscripts produced in the late 1700s \u2013 early 1800s.\n!!!\nSome folios from the eighteenth century are recognizable by their distinctive slightly tarnished silvery sheen. This was acquired by adding a small amount of gold to silver, a piece of which was pounded repeatedly in a leather pouch to produce mogyo leaf or \u201csky string\u201d, said to resemble the color or lightning.\n\nAll of these have the thick lacquered text \u2013 but some are written in a fine script on gold background, others on a plain un-decorated palm leaf. Each type is loosely associated with a particular origin and source so for us, sitting at the very end of history it is easy to make conjectures.\n\nWhatever story e build with our little clues, it only offers some comfort that we \u2018know\u2019 \u2013 but not really the knowledge.\nIf only the manuscripts could tell us the stories along their journey!\n\u00a0\njm\nJune 2017\nReference: Noel Singer\nSave\nThe post Kammavaca Art \u2013 Buddhist Manuscripts from Myanmar appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.