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.

’Abhidhammā satta sāra kyam (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 61 images Date(s): 1320 Burmese Era
’Alon‘ kum vāra vatthutvai (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 69 images Date(s): 1319 Burmese Era
’Abhidhammā Tatiyatvai (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 48 images Date(s): 1322 Burmese Era
Lit‘ mań‘ cañ‘ (Side 2)
History of Pa’O Kings and Dynasties parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 157 images Date(s): 1313 Burmese Era
Kathāvatthu (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Abhidharma; ’Abhidhammā; Thīsin‘ Rvī parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 71 images Date(s): 1312 Burmese Era
Rhań‘ nāgasin‘ milinda ho‘ kham (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 73 images Date(s): 1325 Burmese Era
Pavattisań‘ hakyam / Gīhicārittakyam (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Sutta; Sut‘; Elucidation of the Vinaya; Vinaññ‘˝ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 71 images Date(s): 1322 Burmese Era
Pavattisań‘ hakyam / Gīhicārittakyam (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Sutta; Sut‘; Elucidation of the Vinaya; Vinaññ‘˝ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 71 images Date(s): 1322 Burmese Era
Velāmasut‘ tvam būiv‘ khrui (2) coń‘ (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 69 images Date(s): 1335 Burmese Era
Rājavań‘ sathum samiń‘ (Side 1)
Pa’O History of Thaton parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 88 images Date(s): 1317 Burmese Era
Rājavań‘ sathum samiń‘ (Side 2)
Pa’O History of Thaton parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 78 images Date(s): 1317 Burmese Era
Ñadakatarāto‘ (Side 1)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 72 images Date(s): 1262 Burmese Era
’Aloń‘ vilā (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 70 images Date(s): 1295 Burmese Era
Suttamūla (Side 2)
Elucidation of the Suttam; Suttan‘ parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 63 images Date(s): 1331 Burmese Era
Lvaimo‘ rājavań‘ (Side 1)
History of Lve Mo Mountain (in Pa’O region) parabaik (accordion-folded paper manuscripts). 35 images Date(s): 1325 Burmese Era