Dunhuang, translation, and cultural contact

If you teach about Dunhuang, or the Tang dynasty, or inter-cultural contact, or just like to read interesting things, you should be aware of the Early Tibet website of Sam van Schaik. He is based at the International Dunhuang project, and has some interesting posts on Dunhuang as a site of cultural contact between Tibet and China. This is something everyone talks about in class, but van Shaik has lots of details on the functioning of the Dunhuang scriptorium that students might find interesting. Obviously today we don’t kidnap family members or flog people for loosing paper. When we say something has been written with blood we mean it as a metaphor, which may not always have been the case in Dunhuang.

Still, just like Dunhuang scribes, our students like to doodle.


While your students may not suffer quite as much as the Chinese scribes did under Tibetan rule, they may find the parallels interesting.


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