Heritage & Conservation

Mon Palm-leaf Manuscripts : Compilation, Conservation, and Digitisation

Program Category: Heritage and Convservation

Type: Publication/Seminar/Study Tour

Date/Duration: 25-26 June 2015

Publication: June 2015

Seminar: 25 June 2015

Study Tour: 26 June 2015

Venue: Siam Society in Bangkok (Seminar) and Rajaburi Province, Thailand (Study Tour)

Background

1. SEAMEO SPAFA’s Mon research team selected and translated four Mon folktales and poems into the Thai language: three titles were written by Ajarn Aswhoh, the famous 17th Century Mon Scholar, and one title was written by the Mon Scholar, Nai Klai, during the period of King Rama III of Thailand’s reign. The titles of the four selected Mon palm-leaf manuscripts that were translated into Thai are as follows:

  •  ‘Pumpamasitti’ written by Ajarn Aswhoh;
  • ‘The moral duty for students and youth’ a palm-leaf manuscript containing fables that provide moral teachings written by Ajarn Aswhoh;
  • ‘Sabbha Pamar chronicle’ written by Ajarn Aswhoh; and
  • ‘Mekha Luk Kwang’ (or ‘Meka Devi’) written by Nai Klai.

2. A publication was produced which included Ajarn Aswhoh’s biography (translated into Thai by Mr. Pisarn Boonpook, specialist in Mon customs, traditions, and manuscripts) along with photographs of the original Mon palm-leaf manuscripts.

3. A seminar was held on 25 June 2015 at the Siam Society Bangkok.

4. As part of the seminar, a study tour related to Mon cultural heritage in Thailand was organized on 26 June 2015. The following places in Ratchaburi province, Thailand, were visited:

– The Mon Library hall of Wat Phosobharam, Banyong District

– Wat Moung Museum, Banyong District

– Wat Kongkaram Museum, Photharam District

Objectives

1. Promote the cultural heritage of ethnic Mon community groups and their way of life

2. Publicize selected documents on Buddhist ethics and morality composed by the famous 17th century Mon scholar Ajarn Aswhoh

3. Digitize selected Mon palm-leaf manuscripts in accordance with international standard

Output

Publication (Please see images of publication below)

Outcome

1. The rare works of Mon scholar Ajarn Aswhoh are better known.

2. Better public awareness in the importance of old Mon palm-leaf manuscripts and the need for their preservation.

Post Acitivity Report

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