Preservation of Tibetan Bonpo Manuscripts in Amdo (Qinghai and Gansu Provinces, PRC) (EAP1077)

Aims and objectives

This project will digitise 130 not previously documented Tibetan manuscript books (dpe-cha) in the region of Amdo (Qinghai and Gansu Provinces, PRC). It is a fragmentary and heterogeneous corpus of texts kept in private libary collections owned by the Ngakpa (ritual experts and tantric specialists) of the Tibetan Bon religious tradition. The texts in the collection date from the early 19th to the mid-20th centuries. The preservation and study of these unexplored texts, covering ritual, medicine, astrology and divination, is of tremendous importance to the field of Tibetan studies and to the cultural and social history of this region.

Outcomes

This project digitised texts of variable length, from a few pages to hundreds, which belong to six Bonpo households in Qinghai Province. The project digitised 22 volumes of materials resulting in a total of 10,650 images.Most texts are rare unique ritual texts and date between late nineteenth century and mid-twentieth century. Copies have been given to the British Library and the local archive partner the Tibetan Studies College of Minzu University of China.

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