Shui Manuscripts Digitised by Sun Yat-sen University [19th to 20th century]

Digital images of Shui manuscripts from Bailai, Baitong, Dangkou and Wuxiong in Rongjiang; Baidan and Zaide in Liping; and Baide and Dekou in Congjiang. The manuscripts are owned by anonymous collectors, and were digitised by Sun Yat-sen University as part of the EAP143 project. The details of the collections, their provenance and owners, are unknown.

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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