No, this is not a fan: it's a manuscript made of palm leaves. Long ago, while people around the Mediterranean used papyrus leaves to make paper, people in Indonesia wrote on palm leaves. Here in NJ, we tend to think of leaves as something you rake up, fragile bits of vegetation that crumble easily. But palm leaves are different - much tougher, and can last for hundreds of years (if properly stored). They were put together to form the pages of beautiful 'books':
And the script is gorgeous! there are several different types. Take a look:
from Wikipedia: The rounded or diagonal shapes of the letters of many of the scripts of South India and Southeast Asia, such as Devanagari, Nandinagari, Telugu script, Lontara, the Javanese script, the Balinese alphabet, the Odia alphabet, the Burmese alphabet, the Tamil script and others may have developed as adaptations to writing Indic scripts on palm leaves, as angular letters (such as Brahmi letters) tend to split the leaf. Such fluid, curbing lines.
So the beautiful curving script had a purpose - angles would split the leaf!!
The pencil shows size, but the lettering was made with a stylus, like this:
The stylus scratched the leaf, then ink was rubbed into the scratches...and you can see it in this video:
Here are some scribes working on leaves:
The fellow on the left is the one on my tablet.
The manuscripts would be stored in libraries like the one at Angor Wat: I added a small section on the right side of the tablet.
I used some of the text as background:
Here's the finished tablet:
PATRA is the name of the individual leaf; LONTAR means the whole manuscript.
This tablet was fairly straightforward: I was happy with the design on the first try, the colors work, and there's no voice in my head nagging about other, better choices I could have made. Success!
Coming up next week: the Memes Tablet