Dedicated to Sudhana Kumāra, an acolyte of Avalokitasvara (a.k.a. Kwun Yam), it is therefore highly likely that the printing blocks come from a temple at which Avalokitasvara was venerated.
Inverell Pioneer Village
TRANSCRIPTIONS AND TRANSLATIONS
Verso inscriptions in top photograph (left to right)
Upper inscription on each fortune-paper template
[Efficacious] Sudhana Kumāra Chim Sticks.
WHERE WERE THESE OBJECTS USED?
The answer to this question is not known. Sudhana Kumāra is an acolyte of Avalokitasvara (a.k.a. Kwun Yam); it is therefore highly likely that the printing blocks come from a temple at which Avalokitasvara was venerated.
Sudhana Kumāra: Sudhana Kumāra is a Buddhist deity and acolyte of Avalokitasvara (a.k.a. Kwun Yam), both of whom, on account of its syncretic nature, are also venerated in Chinese folk religion.
“Chim sticks”: The translation “fortune sticks” is more common than “chim sticks”, but as can be seen from the “Prescription printing block”, such sticks do not always relate to fortune papers.
Verso inscriptions: Each of the five templates on each block is sequentially numbered, with the lowest numbered fortune paper appearing at right when printed. The ordinal number neatly inscribed on the verso of each printing block reflects the number of the first fortune-paper template on it. The printing blocks labelled “No. 1” and “No. 6” are thus presumably the first and second blocks within the set, while the block labelled “No. 81” is presumably the sixteenth block within the set.
This is a continually evolving website, and more information about this object will be published as further research is conducted.