Thursday, April 27, 2006
My parents visited Bali several years ago, and when I recently became interested in hand-made books, they sent me this little book they had found there. At one time, these "temple books" were typically used as the only official record of the people in the area ... possibly birth/marriage/death records ... by the Temple Priests.
The "cover" is actually two separate carved wood blocks. The top cover, or lid, depicts a baby komodo dragon, a lotus blossom, a turtle, and a frog. It has 3 wooden pegs to pierce and hold the "pages", which appear to be made of some type of bark or papyrus, as it is thin and very brittle. Besides the pegs, the book is held together by an attached twine tie with a pierced coin at the end, which is wrapped around the book to keep it closed.
The writing appears, at first glance, to be etched into the pages, but I can't feel any ridges, so it may possibly be a (walnut?) ink of some kind.
This little book is tiny ... only 1-1/4" wide, 2-1/2" tall (including it's itty-bitty feet), and 5-1/2" long. I think it is absolutely beautiful, and wanted to share it with you.