VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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Wooden Palki
CUM 1911
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Why this is a
Masterpiece

Palanquin (palki) is a traditional means of communication which is now very rare. Mostly carried on the shoulders by the slaves or dasas, these palkis tell a tale of social and economic dichotomy prevalent in ancient India. Palanquins began to fall out of use after rickshaws (on wheels, more practical) were introduced in the 1930s. This unique wooden Palki collected by the Chittagong University Museum is only and unique piece of folkart in the Chittagong. It was carring Brides for wedding transportation.

History of the Object
Palanquin (palki) is a box-like vehicle. It is borne on the shoulders of two, four or even eight bearers of special caste or class. The origin of the word palki is derived from sanskrit palayanka (a traveling bed). There is a reference to palki in the ramayana. Ibn Batuta had personally used palki and so did the traveler of the same time, John Maignolli (c 1350). Palkis have long been associated with the rich, the royal and the powerful, especially so in Bengal where these were the only means of travel for rajas, maharajas and the feudal lords in the absence of modern transport systems. Palki is also a wedding transportation means. Brides are carried to the bridegrooms’ places by Palki. CU Museum purchased this Palki from collector Mujibar Rahman from Dawood Kandi located in the bank of Megna River.

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Type
Other 
Materials
Wood 
Measurements
 
Creator name
Unknown 
Creator date
Unknown 
Where it was made
Comilla 
Geography
Bangladesh 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century 
Function
Royal Vahicle 
Acquisition
1998, Purchased from Collector Mujibar Rahman from Dawood Kandi 
Copyright
Chittagong University Museum 
Acknowledgements
Chittagong University Museum 
Owner
Chittagong University Museum 
Museum
Chittagong University Museum 
Credit line
Chittagong University Museum 

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