A puzzling palm leaf (updated)

Jaob Schmidt-Madsen jacob at FABULARASA.DK
Wed Mar 30 17:30:23 UTC 2011

Hi Allen,

To expand on the mail I just sent to the list stating that I only have six
unbound leaves (one of them being the mysterious one without holes for
binding), I can say that I have no clear indication of which part of the
manuscript the leaf might stem from. As pagination normally occurs in the
left margin, and as all my leaves are broken off at the ends, I only have
the context of the contents to go from, and that obviously does not apply
to the leaf under discussion.

As you mention yourself, doodling does not exactly seem to be the case
here, but the relation of the leaf to the rest of the manuscript is
definitely worth taking into considering.


> Is there any indication whether this was at the beginning, the end, or the
> middle of the ms?  E.g., did the ms come stringed and with numbered folios
> mostly in order and was this one at the beginning or the end, so that it
> might originally have been one of a number of blank folios meant to
> protect those with the main body of the text?  I ask because I have
> noticed in both South Asian and Southeast Asian mss that there is often
> doodling on the blank folios, though I confess I have never noticed it on
> palm leaf mss.  Sometimes the doodling has struck me as by adults and
> other times as by children.
> Admittedly, from your description it does not sound like a 'random' doodle
> to pass the time, but still might just be a case of using any convenient
> piece of writing material for a nonce use unrelated to the body of the ms.
> Allen
> Allen W. Thrasher, Ph.D.
> Senior Reference Librarian and Team Coordinator
> South Asia Team
> Asian Division
> Library of Congress
> Washington, DC 20540-4810
> tel. 202-707-3732
> fax 202-707-1724
> The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Library of
> Congress.

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