Jenkins on Ancient Balinese Lontar Manuscripts

Professor of Theater Ron Jenkins spoke to The Jakarta Post about the ancient Balinese lontar (palm leaf manuscripts), which are being proposed for recognition by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage. The lontar are a true treasure of world culture, said Jenkins, and must be not only recognized, but transcribed and translated.

“The complexity, sophistication and literary beauty are not fully appreciated inside or outside of Indonesia. If more of the lontar were translated, the world would recognize the importance of Indonesia’s contributions to global culture,” explained Jenkins, who led the joint team of American and Balinese scholars to digitize and translate thousands of ancient Balinese lontar manuscripts and upload them to the Internet Archive Foundation’s website to enable people around the world to access the lontar and learn more about the value of their content.