Pan Yushan Collection of Shui Manuscripts [estimated 19th to 20th century]

Digital images of 140 Shui manuscripts from the collection of Pan Yushan, a private collector in Duyun, Guizhou. The manuscripts in this collection are believed to have originated in Libo, Congjiang and Duyun in southern Guizhou.

The manuscripts are written in the Shui language and script, one of the few remaining hieroglyphics in the world. The manuscripts include Shui works of astrology, folklore, ethics, philosophy, history, art, geography and theology, religious practice and ritual.

It is a tradition that scribes do not identify themselves in Shui manuscripts, and therefore information concerning the creators of these manuscripts is mostly unknown. Similarly the exact dates of the majority of these manuscripts are unknown.

All traditional Shui manuscripts are written on cotton paper in black ink; illustrations are often written in red ink. Bamboo sticks and brushes are comonly used to create the manuscripts. Most manuscripts are bound with cotton thread, and a few have cloth covers. The paper, ink and covering cloth are made locally.

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