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TRADITIONS & UTENSILS

  

 

 

  Chinese inkstone with ink stick

 

Thailand

A Chinese inkstone and an ink stick with Chinese characters in gold, that read jīn b hun (金不换), which translates as no exchange even for gold and refers to the type of pine-soot it is made from. This kind of stick was used for ink by the pupils in the old-style Chinese private schools since the 18th century. It is still the most popular ink in today's Chinese elementary schools where calligraphy is a required course for new generations. The design of the stick is simple, fit right for the hands of students and can be easily stored in a pencil box. In addition though unrelated, jīn b hun is also the name for a kind of milkwort, known by the scientific name Polygala glomerata, which is widely distributed in southern China, where it is used in traditional herbal medicine.