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Lesson 19

Cultural Note

Watch the video and know what the bamboo books (bamboo scrolls) look like! However, the bamboo books in the video are folk arts for selling. In ancient China, the bamboo strips of bamboo books were smaller, and the Chinese characters on the strips were much smaller too.

Before paper was invented, bamboo was used as a surface to write on. Bamboo was cut into sticks roughly the length of two chopsticks stuck together. These strips were then smoothed out and strung together by silk strings, twines, or leather strips. Does that sound like a book to you? Well, it was back then!

People wrote on the inside or the outside after peeling them. How did they carry the books around? They rolled them up. So instead of carrying stacks of books, people carried rolls of books made out of bamboo strips.

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