In a race against decay, Balinese youths preserve ‘lontar’ palm leaf manuscripts

For conservation, a concoction of alcohol and citronella oil is applied to preserve lontar manuscripts and fend off insects. Photos: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

A young man carefully tended a small campfire on which scores of candlenuts were being grilled. Their aromatic fragrance wafted into the adjacent hall, where dozens of youths were busy cleaning old 'lontar' (palm leaf manuscripts).

It was a scorching day in Bulian, a village some 82km north of Denpasar, Bali in Indonesia. Yet, the hall’s high ceiling and the light breeze coming down the nearby hills provided some relief from the heat.

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Lontar , Manuscripts , Indonesia , Bali , Heritage , Literary


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