Palm leaf manuscripts
DEVARAKONDA VENKATA NARAYANA SARMA
narayana at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN
Sun Mar 15 15:43:39 UTC 1998
At 07:16 PM 3/15/98 +0800, you wrote:
>At 12:53 AM 3/15/98 EST, you wrote:
>>In a posting dated Mon, 5 Jan 1998 18:49:52 -0500
>>Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> said about some manuscripts in north
>>"All written with ink (except for a very few South Indian MSS in the
>>Archives, inscised with stylus)."
>>Is incising palm-leaf manuscripts with stylus a southern Indian custom? How
>>were manuscripts prepared in the north ? Only by writing instead of
>>Has the word nArAca ever been used to mean 'stylus' in the north/Sanskrit?
> Dear S.PL.,
> The documents from the North known as "lekha"
> and "lipi" were generally written on "burjapatra"
> by painting the letters onto the leaf with "maSI" or
> ink. With such a method a sharp stylus -"elzuththANi'
> can't be used.
> The majority of the Tamil manuscripts have been
> incised on the palmyra leaf - "tAlipatra" or "Olai"
> or "Edu". The instrument "nArAcam" was used for punching a round
> hole at the left end of the palm leaf. A bundle of leaves
> comprising of a full document or a complete book
> could be compiled in order, and then tied by a ribbon
> of rattan thong which is passed into the respective holes.
> This compilation is known as "cuvadi" or "poththakam".
> Rarely was the word used to mean the stylus.
> "ANi" or "elzuththANi" was the most commonly used word.
> The nArAcam was also a small sharp instrument
> which was used to pierce the ear-drums of people to
> make them deaf. This was a form of punishment.
In telugu the stylus used to write on palmyra leaves is called 'ghaMTaM'
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