As tools for activities of daily life, vernacular furniture can be complex and require special craft skills. They are often constructed to fulfill practical or ceremonial roles, by the people involved in the activities and for their community who follow these activities. Since utility is the most important factor for furniture to find its place in people’s lives, the project classifies the furniture by usage into five categories – Aasan (seating); Manch (sleeping); Manjush (storage); Sapaat (surface); and Vastu (objects). This section provides details of the 167 types of vernacular furniture identified during this research.
Furniture types from Gujarat
Furniture types from Rajasthan
Furniture types from Punjab
Furniture types from Haryana
Aasan is derived from the Sanskrit word asana. It signifies body-posture as well as a seat. The term aasan is ambiguous in nature and encompasses anything from a straw mat to a king’s throne. All types of seating furniture have been classified under this category.
Manch, among various other implications, signifies a bed. Vernacular beds are essentially charpoys. A variety of charpoy forms and other vernacular furniture pieces, like cradles, are used for sleeping and are included in this category.
Manjush is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘manjusha’, meaning a storage space. In different parts of north-west India, manjush is also known as majus or majju, because of the change in vernacular dialect from region to region. A range of storage furniture including in-built options like wall niches and cabinets, are included in this category.
An object is known as Vastu, in most north-western languages. The term is not to be confused with vaastu, which signifies a house, or the land to build a house on. Everyday objects such as caskets, hooks, lamps, shrines, hand mills and so on that have been an integral component of domestic lifestyles are featured under this category.
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