Palanquin

Palanquin: Also known as Litera, it is a kind of vehicle without wheels, a type of human-powered transport, for the transfer of people. It has been called lectica (Ancient Rome ), Jianluan ( China ), sedan chair ( England ), palanquin or palki ( India and Pakistani ), tahtirevan ( Turkey ) and gama ( Korea )

Summary

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  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 Features
  • 3 History
    • 1 In China
    • 2 Rest of Asia
    • 3 In western culture
    • 4 In America
    • 5 The end of a tradition
  • 4 Gallery
  • 5 See Also
  • 6 Sources

Etymology

The palanquin was called Jianluan before the Song Dynasty and was a special means of transportation in ancient China. Jian means shoulders and Luan means cars. So, Jianluan refers to the chariots carried on the shoulders.

features

Smaller bunks can take the form of open chairs or beds carried by two or more men, some of them closed for protection from the elements. Larger bunks, like those of Chinese emperors, can resemble small rooms on a platform carried on the shoulders by a dozen or more men.

A simple litter, often called a “king carrier”, consists of a harness attached along its length to posts or stretched within a frame, which are carried by porters in front and behind. Such simple bunks are common on battlefields and in emergency situations, where the terrain does not allow wheeled vehicles to transport the dead and wounded.

Bunk beds can also be created by tying posts to a chair. Bunk beds, for example, consisting of a simple wicker chair with, perhaps, an umbrella to ward off the elements and two thick bamboo poles, can still be found in the mountainous stations of China, such as the Huangshan Mountains, to carry the children. tourists to positions inaccessible by other means of transport.

A more luxurious version consists of a bed or a sofa, sometimes surrounded by curtains, so that the passenger or passengers are more comfortable. These are carried by at least two porters in equal numbers in front and behind, with wooden rails running through the supports on the sides of the berth. The larger and heavier types can be carried by draft animals. Another form, commonly called a “sedan chair”, is made up of a chair or cabin surrounded by windows, suitable for a single occupant, which is also carried by at least two porters in front and two behind, using wooden handrails that cross the brackets on the sides of the chair. These chargers were known in London as chairmen (“chairmen”). Although very rare since the 19th centuryThese enclosed portable bunks were used by the social elite as a form of transportation for centuries, especially in cultures where women were kept secluded. Sedan chairs, in use until the 19th century, were accompanied at night by link-boys who carried torches. Whenever possible, the link-boys escorted the porters, the passengers were then delivered to the door of their lodgings. Several houses in Bath, Somerset, in England, still have torch extinguishers outside, in the form of huge candle snuffers.

History

In egyptPharaonic, the ruler and the divinities (in the form of an idol) were thus carried in public, often in procession, during state ceremonies or religious festivals. In Ancient Rome, a litter called a lectica or “sella” often carried members of the imperial family, but also other dignitaries and members of the elite, when they were not mounted on horseback. For urban transport, bunk beds with eight porters were normally used, in which the person or persons (usually up to two) who were transported lay on a hard mattress and had pillows. There was also a public bunk service that even had places to take them, stops (castra lecticariorum). Less well-off people were transported in a sedan chair (sella) carried by two people. For interurban transport travel bunks (basterna) were used, carried by two mules. The use of these vehicles in the city of Rome became a problem on numerous occasions, which led to it being regulated.Julius Caesar limited its use, although the regulations failed to prevail.

In China

The palanquin has about 4,000 years of history in China. According to historical records, the first palanquins appeared in the early Xia Dynasty (21st century BC). The Classic of History tells that when Yu controlled the floods, he traveled in four means of transport. Later, people explained that these four modes of transportation were boats (for water), carts (for flat land), sleds (for swamps), and palanquins (for mountains). As the palanquin was used to travel through the mountains and was carried on the shoulders of two people, one in front and one in the back, it looked like a bridge. Therefore, in ancient times, the bridge and the palanquin used the same character. In 1978, three wooden Jianluan were found in a tomb from the Warring States period in Henan province. These have a roof similar to a house or shaped like an umbrella. Fortunately, the original shape of one of them was restored. It is made up of the chair, the frame, the pillars, the roof and the poles. The base is rectangular and the roof has slopes. It is closed with fabrics. At the front, there is a door for the person to enter. The poles are tied at the base, unlike the rear palanquins that have poles higher up. Those are the oldest palanquins that have been found to this day. We can perceive from its structure that its production technique was already quite advanced at that time. However, there must have been a longer process of prior development. Therefore, we deduce that the origin of the palanquin dates from the beginning of the Xia Dynasty. Fortunately, the original shape of one of them was restored. It is made up of the chair, the frame, the pillars, the roof and the poles. The base is rectangular and the roof has slopes. It is closed with fabrics. At the front, there is a door for the person to enter. The poles are tied at the base, unlike the rear palanquins that have poles higher up. Those are the oldest palanquins that have been found to this day. We can perceive from its structure that its production technique was already quite advanced at that time. However, there must have been a longer process of prior development. Therefore, we deduce that the origin of the palanquin dates from the beginning of the Xia Dynasty. Fortunately, the original shape of one of them was restored. It is made up of the chair, the frame, the pillars, the roof and the poles. The base is rectangular and the roof has slopes. It is closed with fabrics. At the front, there is a door for the person to enter. The poles are tied at the base, unlike the rear palanquins that have poles higher up. Those are the oldest palanquins that have been found to this day. We can perceive from its structure that its production technique was already quite advanced at that time. However, there must have been a longer process of prior development. Therefore, we deduce that the origin of the palanquin dates from the beginning of the Xia Dynasty. the roof and the poles. The base is rectangular and the roof has slopes. It is closed with fabrics. At the front, there is a door for the person to enter. The poles are tied at the base, unlike the rear palanquins that have poles higher up. Those are the oldest palanquins that have been found to this day. We can perceive from its structure that its production technique was already quite advanced at that time. However, there must have been a longer process of prior development. Therefore, we deduce that the origin of the palanquin dates from the beginning of the Xia Dynasty. the roof and the poles. The base is rectangular and the roof has slopes. It is closed with fabrics. At the front, there is a door for the person to enter. The poles are tied at the base, unlike the rear palanquins that have poles higher up. Those are the oldest palanquins that have been found to this day. We can perceive from its structure that its production technique was already quite advanced at that time. However, there must have been a longer process of prior development. Therefore, we deduce that the origin of the palanquin dates from the beginning of the Xia Dynasty. unlike the posterior palanquins which have rods higher up. Those are the oldest palanquins that have been found to this day. We can perceive from its structure that its production technique was already quite advanced at that time. However, there must have been a longer process of prior development. Therefore, we deduce that the origin of the palanquin dates from the beginning of the Xia Dynasty. unlike the posterior palanquins which have rods higher up. Those are the oldest palanquins that have been found to this day. We can perceive from its structure that its production technique was already quite advanced at that time. However, there must have been a longer process of prior development. Therefore, we deduce that the origin of the palanquin dates from the beginning of the Xia Dynasty.

Rest of Asia

Sedan chairs were once the only public transportation in Hong Kong, playing the role of taxis. Chair stands were found in all hotels, docks, and major road axes. The chairs were licensed and charged according to the rates that were displayed inside. Private chairs marked the status of a person. Until the Peak Tram (funicular on rails) came into service in 1888.

In traditional Javanese society – the generic palanquin or joli – was a wicker chair with a canopy or canopy, attached to two posts, carried on the shoulders of a bearer, available for rent. As an indicator of status, golden palanquins such as thrones or jempana were reserved solely for royalty. The more elaborate the palanquin was, the greater the status of its owner. The joli was transported by hired assistants, peasants of the nobles or slaves.

Historically, the palanquin of the Indonesian king (raja), prince (pangeran), lord (raden mas) or other noble (bangsawan) was called jempana or, if it was more like a throne, pangkem. It was always part of a large military parade, with a square yellow canopy (canopy) – the color of Java for royalty, with the ceremonial umbrella (payung) held above it, carried by a bearer behind and flanked by the older bodyguards. faithful, usually around 12 men, armed to the teeth.

The canopy of the Sumatra palanquin was oval in shape and wrapped in white cloth – a reflection of a greater cultural penetration of Islamic cultures. Sometimes a weapon or family heirloom, such as an important kris or tombak, had its own palanquin.

In Hindu culture in Bali today, the tradition of palanquins for auspicious statues, weapons or relics continues, especially at funerals, and in more elaborate rituals, a palanquin is used for the dead, which is later cremated along with the deceased.

In Japan , as the population increased, less and less land was available as pasture for horse maintenance. With the availability of horses restricted to martial uses, human-powered transportation became more important and frequent. The kago was often used to transport the warrior class and nobility, mostly during the Tokugawa period, when regional samurai were required to spend most of the year in Edo (Tokyo) with their families, leading to annual migrations. of the rich and powerful to and from the capital along the central trunk road of Japan.

In Korea, members of the royalty and aristocracy, as well as government officials, were carried in richly decorated bunks called “doe.” There were six types of range, each assigned to different official government classifications. In traditional weddings, the bride and groom were brought to the ceremony in separate ranges. Due to the difficulties posed by the mountainous terrain of the Korean Peninsula and the lack of paved roads, the ranges were preferred to wheeled vehicles.

In western culture

Portuguese and Spanish navigators and colonizers found litters of various types in India , Mexico, and Peru . They were first imported to Spain , spread to France and then to England . All the names for these devices were derived from the root “sed” – from the Latin word “sella” – the traditional name for a covered chair.

The contraption was an instant hit in Europe , whose streets were often a literal mess of mud and rubbish (where cities and towns did not enjoy the presence of sewage systems; since Roman times it was common to empty the potties from the windows facing the street, as well as throwing them from the kitchen); wealthy and well-matched citizens often found business in these avenues dangerous and impractical, and sedan chairs allowed them to remain straight and unpolluted, while the servants who carried them were the ones who had to deal with the mud and dirt.

Henry VIII of England was carried in a sedan chair – which had four strong bearers for that purpose until the end of his life – but the expression “sedan chair” was not used in print until 1615 . Trevor Fawcett notes that English travelers Fyne Moryson (in 1594 ) and John Evelyn (in 1644 ) commented on the Seggioli of Naples and Genoa , which were public rental chairs hung from poles and carried on the shoulders of two porters.

By the middle of the 17th century , rental chairs were a common mode of transportation. In London, the chairs were for rent at 1634 , each with a number and assigned porters, because the operation was a monopoly of a courtier of Charles I . Sedan chairs could pass on streets too narrow for a car and were intended to alleviate the crowding of cars on London streets, an early example of traffic congestion. A similar system was used later in Scotland .

In America

Sedan chairs were also used by the wealthy in the cities of colonial America . Benjamin Franklin used a sedan chair until the late 18th century. In several colonies, bunks of different types were kept in indigenous traditions, but were often adopted by white settlers as a new ruling socio-economic elite, either for practical reasons (often comfortable modern transportation was not available, for example, for lack of decent roads) and / or as a status symbol. During the 17th and 18th centuries, palanquins were very popular with European merchants in Bengal, so much so that in 1758 an order was issued prohibiting their purchase by some lower-ranking employees.

A similar but simpler palanquin was used by the elite in parts of Latin America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Often simply called a chair, it consisted of a simple wooden chair with an attached mechapal. The occupant sat in the chair, which was then fixed on the back of a single carrier, with the mechapal supported by his head. The passenger therefore faced back to back during the journey. This style of palanquin was probably due to steep terrain and rough or narrow paths, unsuitable for European-style sedan chairs. Travelers in chairs used to use a number of chargers, which alternated carrying the occupant.

The end of a tradition

In Britain in the early 1800s , the public sedan began to go out of use, perhaps because the streets were better paved or perhaps because of the growth of the more comfortable, sociable and affordable rental carriage.

 

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