New #WearableArt in the works!
This is a stack of sheets of what is called “bhojpatra” ( भोजपत्र ). Bhojpatra is, essentially, the bark of the Himalayan Birch tree.
For centuries, in India, prior to the advent of paper, important messages & sacred texts were written on bhojpatra. Mostly in Sanskrit.
Now, bhojpatra is primarily used in the field of Astrology. It is said that writing a mantra on a bhojpatra, makes the mantra more potent. It is also used in horoscope writing. Some people write a mantra or shloka on a piece of the bhojpatra, the bark is then rolled up & fit into a small silver or gold amulet, which is then worn by the person. This is said to provide protection from evil.
The bark and its derivatives are also used to treat various ailments in the practice of Ayurveda.
My family has been in possession of this stack of bhojpatra sheets since around 1994/1995.
The Himalayan Birch tree is native to the Western Himalayas. I’ve seen the trees all over mountains in Kashmir and even enroute Spiti. The trees can be found growing only above and around the altitude of 14,000 feet.
Regardless of one’s stance on Astrology/Ayurveda, I find the use of bhojpatra as a medium, intriguing. An amalgamation of history, culture, wellness & communication.