Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Yunnan
Priest’s ritual book
Homemade paper, leather ink, cotton string.
6.5 in. long x 4.5 in. across x .5 depth.
Edges worn due to age and use. Front cover is 25% attached.
This important esoteric book is used by priests in all Mien groups in SE Asia. It is made of hand-made paper, leather covers and bound with cotton string. Its illustrated columns of Chinese calligraphy and spreadsheets coded with characters, empty and filled circles, dots and other symbols only know to the owner. Books of this type are produced for instruction in various religious or spirit ceremonies, or other subjects such as astrology, medicinal practices, divination as well family histories etc. They are usually made by the priest as he studies with his ritual master and reflect that master’s training from his teacher. This lack of uniformity makes each book unique.