Pa'O Religious and Literary Manuscripts

The ethnic Pa'O (Tibeto-Burman, Karenic branch) minority group number close to one million persons and currently occupy areas as far north as the southern Shan State and as far south as the northern Mon State in present-day Myanmar. The Pa'O Literary and Cultural Council Committee (PLCCC) Library in Taunggyi, Shan State has begun to collect endangered materials, largely consisting of Theravada Buddhist texts in palm leaf manuscript and parabaik (accordian-folded paper manuscript) form as well as scrolls of both religious and literary texts. All texts are written in either the Pa'O language or in Pali employing a slightly modified Pa'O script. There is no doubt as to the significance of these texts as they represent Pa'O interpretations of the Buddhist canon, an alternative to the Burmese lineage that now essentially dominates religious discourse within Myanmar. Further, they represent a major collection of the Pa'O literary tradition in as much as recent political conditions have effectively quelled Pa'O literature. Sources of these collected Pa'O texts are disparate; some are harvested from homes in rural villages while most have been gifted by local Pa'O monasteries.

Due to the nature of parabaik, each manuscript has two sides (Side 1 and Side 2). In all cases a single text is continued from one side to the other, though there are some instances when a single manuscript contains two texts, one on each side of the folded manuscript.

Rvhepraññ‘ vań‘ kyam (Side 2)
History of the Death of Gautama Buddha parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 69 images Date(s): 1322 Burmese Era
Lvaimo‘ rājavań‘ (Side 2)
History of Lve Mo Mountain (in Pa’O region) parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 34 images Date(s): 1325 Burmese Era
Lokadippa lokavvat‘ phrekyam (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Vinaya; Vinaññ‘˝ Parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 71 images/ Date: 1348 Burmese Era
’Abhidhammā satta sāra kyam (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 64 images Date(s): 1320 Burmese Era
’Abhidhammāsań‘ gruih‘ (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 52 images Date(s): 1321 Burmese Era
Dhammarāthīkyam (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 74 images Date(s): 1294 Burmese Era
Suvannpakāsanīkyam (Side 1)
History of the Sasana palm leaf manuscript. 57 images Date(s): unknown
’Aloń‘ vilā (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 73 images Date(s): 1295 Burmese Era
Yamuik‘ (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 69 images Date(s): 1331 Burmese Era
Tarāto‘ huitham | Yaso‘ kanto´ (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘; Tanvuiń‘ yve˝ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 70 images Date(s): 1328 Burmese Era
’ārum 6 pā (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 7 images Date(s): 1294 Burmese Era
’Abhidhammākyampoń‘ kammathān‘ (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 71 images Date(s): 1297 Burmese Era
Kosalabin‘ mań‘˝ 16 khyak‘ (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 14 images Date(s): 1341 Burmese Era
Nāmakutta mūlasalakyam (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 72 images Date(s): 1317 Burmese Era
Māghalulań‘ (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘; on loan from Thī’avan‘ rvā (village) parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 71 images Date(s): 1299 Burmese Era