Chairs around the world: FriFotos Photo Essay

I’m very excited to be co-hosting FriFotos on its second year anniversary, specially as my suggested topic was selected as this week’s theme! I decided to put together a cultural photo essay, showing you different chairs around the world. Please take the time to read the blurbs in order to learn about the history behind them. Enjoy!

FriFotos: CHAIRS Around the World

Chairs in China: According to several sources, the chair model we know today was invented in ancient China. Early evidence was found in royal tombs, especially in the form of folding chairs. Interestingly though, chairs are not part of modern Chinese culture. Nowadays, many traditional Chinese sit on the floor or on mats. Fascinating eh?

Chairs around the world, China

In common neighborhoods throughout China, stools/chairs are primarily used to play games today (Photo: Elizabeth Thomsen)

Chairs in ancient Rome and Greece: The earliest form of chairs in the ancient empires were basic stools as well and they are estimated to date as far back as 2,000 BC! Thrones, however, were a different story:

chairs around the world, Roman throne

Roman throne from first century CE (Photo: Mary Harrsch)

Chairs in pre-Columbian America: As with other cultures we’ve discussed, Native Americans didn’t have chairs until later in their history. Typically, they were made of logs, with animals skins as cushions on the back. Earliest forms of Native American chairs, though, were more like rock pads (quite literally):

 chairs around the world, Native American

Chairs of the Pueblo peoples in Cliff Dwellings Museum, Colorado (Photo: Quinn Dombrowski)

Chairs in the Middle East: Did you know that chairs in the Middle East were very rare in ancient times? Even today, they are more like cushions than chairs by Western standards. Typically, Arabs sit on the floor or on top of a pillow-like “seat,” unless you visit more upscale establishments. I loved to sit in on said cushions though, known as sitting Bedouin style, while visiting Dahab, Egypt (my favorite place on earth, by the way!)

chairs around the world, Sinai

Bedouin-style sitting is typical in most restaurants throughout the Sinai Peninsula, particularly Dahab

That’s it for FriFotos this week! If you have any other interesting chairs around the world photos, please share them on a comment below.

*Special thanks to business chairs library for the fascinating history lesson

What’s the oddest CHAIR you’ve ever seen? Share your FriFotos!

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