India


  • Region

    Asia
  • Country

    India
  • Cities

    Lucknow, various cities in the region of Kerala
  • Repositories

    Various repositories in Kerala, Mahmudabad Family Library (Lucknow)
  • Languages

    Arabic, English, Hebrew, Malayalam, Malayalam Garshuni, Mandaic, Neo-Aramaic, Persian, Syriac, Urdu, and others
  • Project Dates

    2008-2013 (Kerala), 2018-present (Lucknow)
  • Partners

    Central European University in Budapest (Kerala project)

With colleagues from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, HMML established ties in 2008 with the ancient Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala in southwest coastal India, who trace their origins back to the earliest Christian era. Their tradition, rooted in the Syriac Christianity of Mesopotamia and incorporating elements of local culture, survived the arrival of Portuguese missionaries in the late 15th century. Archivist Reverend Father Ignatius Payyappilly of the Archdiocese of Ernakulam-Angamaly, Kerala, led the field work beginning in 2008 which digitized paper and palm-leaf manuscripts written in Syriac, the local language of Malayalam, and Malayalam Garshuni (Malayalam written with Syriac alphabet). HMML’s latest project in northern India - the library of the Raja of Mahmudabad in Lucknow - is a collection of over 2,000 Persian manuscripts still held by the family. These collections in India illustrate the blending of imported religious and literary culture fused with local traditions.

Mar Aprem Mooken, Chaldean (Assyrian Church of the East) Metropolitan of India, holding a Syriac manuscript from the collection of the Metropolitanate in Thrissur, India Mar Aprem Mooken, Chaldean (Assyrian Church of the East) Metropolitan of India, holding a Syriac manuscript from the collection of the Metropolitanate in Thrissur, India
Portuguese-era church, Thrissur Portuguese-era church, Thrissur
Scholar of Old Malayalam and Malayalam Garshuni, Fr. George Kurukkoor and historian Dr. Susan Thomas translate a bound, palm-leaf manuscript Scholar of Old Malayalam and Malayalam Garshuni, Fr. George Kurukkoor and historian Dr. Susan Thomas translate a bound, palm-leaf manuscript
Local technicians digitizing palm-leaf manuscripts in Kerala Local technicians digitizing palm-leaf manuscripts in Kerala
Manuscript in Syriac from Pampakuda (PKDA KONAT 236) Manuscript in Syriac from Pampakuda (PKDA KONAT 236)
Traditional Indian stone oil lamp, topped with a cross, overlooks a coconut palm forest at the hill village of Pushpagiri Traditional Indian stone oil lamp, topped with a cross, overlooks a coconut palm forest at the hill village of Pushpagiri
Coonan Cross in the Shrine at Mettancherry Coonan Cross in the Shrine at Mettancherry
From left, Dr. Susan Thomas, Prof. István Perczel, and HMML Executive Director Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, visit an historic church in Kerala From left, Dr. Susan Thomas, Prof. István Perczel, and HMML Executive Director Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, visit an historic church in Kerala
Fr. Johns Abraham Konat, a Malankara Orthodox Syriac priest, holds a family Syriac Bible Fr. Johns Abraham Konat, a Malankara Orthodox Syriac priest, holds a family Syriac Bible
Palm-leaf manuscript Palm-leaf manuscript
India Image
Fr. Ignatius Payyappilly Fr. Ignatius Payyappilly
Ernakulam Siva temple celebration Ernakulam Siva temple celebration

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