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Home History and Culture Chinese Sedan Chair
Chinese Sedan Chair
Learn Chinese - History and Culture

   Sedan Chair
The sedan Chair (jiào zǐ 轿子) can be regarded as a special transportation vehicle in ancient China. It is lifted with shoulders and hands. Actually, it is a removable bed, desk chair or chaise lounge which is fixed on two poles with or without a tent.

Offical Sedan ChairThe chinese sedan chair was very popular in many areas in history. In different ages and in different areas, the sedan chair has different names, for example, palankeen (jiān yú 肩舆), Yan Zi (yán zǐ 檐子), Dou Zi (dōu zǐ 兜子), Mian Jiao (mián jiào 眠轿), Nuan Jiao (nuǎn jiào 暖轿) etc.. The sedan chairs we know now are the Nuan Jiao, also called Wei Jiao (wéi jiào 帏轿). In Song Dynasty, sedan chair is the most common than that of any period. From the Riverside Scene at Qingming Festival (qīng míng shàng hé tú 清明上河图), we can see there were many sedan chairs in the street of North Song Dynasty (běi sòng 北宋).

The sedan chair was one of the traditional vehicles in ancient Beijing. There are sedan chairs lifted by two persons, four persons or eight persons.

Wedding Sedan ChairWhen it comes to its kind, the sedan chair can be classified in to three types: sedan chair for officials (guān jiào 官轿), the civilian (mín jiào 民轿) and weddings (hūn jiào 婚轿). As far as the purposes are concerned, the sedan chair has two types: one is for mountain roads, and the other for flat roads. According to materials, it can be classified into three kinds: wood, bamboo and rattan. The sedan chair can be lifted by manpower or animal stocks, such as camel sedan chair (tuó jiào 驮轿) and elephant sedan chair (xiàng jiào 象轿) which the emperor of Yuan Dynasty (yuán cháo 元朝) had taken before.

中国轿子

      Wedding Sedan Chair轿子是我国古代的一种特殊的交通工具,主要由人来肩扛手台。就其结构而言,轿子是安装在两根杠上可移动的床、坐椅或睡椅,有篷或无篷。

      中国的轿子曾流行于广大地区。自古以来历代相袭。因时代、地区、形制的不同而有不同的名称。如肩舆、檐子 、兜子、眠轿、暖轿等。现代人所熟悉的轿子多系明、清以来沿袭使用的暖轿,又称帷轿。轿子作为一种交通工具,得到较大普及的是在宋朝。在著名的《清明上河图》中,繁华的北宋京城汴梁大街上有许多轿子出游。

      轿子也是老北京的传统交通工具之一。二人抬的称“二人小轿”;四人抬的称“四人小轿”;八人以上抬的则称之为大轿,如“八抬大轿”等等。

      轿子,在种类上,有官轿、民轿、喜轿、魂轿等不同;在使用上,有走平道与山路的区别。在用材上,有木、竹、藤等之分;在方式上,有人抬的和牲口抬的,如骆驼驮的“驼轿”,元代皇帝还坐过“象轿”。
 

 

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