The effects of ethnic culture in the appearance of Seljuk furniture

Document Type : Research Article



Before the Seljuk reaches the power, they were a nomadic tribe who lived a pastoral and nomadic style, so urban lifestyle habits and the adoption of the law and order were inconsistent with their nomad and primitive nature. This caused them to be less familiar with the customs of urban living. The Seljukians, after capturing Neyshabour, were introduced to the Iranian statecraft and since these nomadic tribes were taught urban life rules under Iranian principles and rules, the Iranians impressed many of their art tastes. However, this issue did not result in the loss of ethnic culture of the Seljukians and their many tribal customs and folklore traditions were preserved and mixed with the Iranian culture. In this respect, the art, that is always the product of its time, becomes a place for the emergence and expression of combination and confluence of Iranian-Seljuk culture. Furniture also as a functional art (especially thrones-chairs of royalty) expresses the attitude and culture of each period. In the light of relative peace in this period, decorative arts were in full bloom and innovation; the objects produced for people were in high structural quality and highly decorative. But whatever makes this research worthy for the arts of this period is the tradition of using the figurative motifs that has led furniture, especially seating, to be as one of the most important elements of trappings of sovereignty manifested in the designs engraved on glazing vessel, illumination, etc. Thus, it may be recognized that Seljuk arts, especially porcelain decorative motifs, are as encyclopedic image of Seljuk seating. Furniture, as art-industry, has always been closely associated with humans as users, habits and social life of peoples, and civilizations throughout the history. This artistic-applied object, especially as thrones, in addition to its applicable aspect has conceptual value. Thrones are always carriers of symbols such as sovereignty and power; and have expressed the attitude of the rulers in a symbolic language Seljuk seating, due to its exaggerated shortness and the user’s sitting form that is unprecedented in Iranian furniture, caused to engage the viewer’s mind of how this type of structure works. Hence, the study tries, with a sociological perspective, to review the social and political situation of Seljuk and also evaluate the aesthetic style of furniture (seating) of this period to answer the following questions: What aspects can contribute to the appearance of Seljuk furniture? With a sociological perspective, can the affecting factors be recognized? The findings of the study strengthen the hypothesis that the Seljuk furniture is a product of a nomad tribal culture and their traditional behaviors fusion with an urban culture and governance traditions of Iran.