A palanquin is a regal mode of transportation used by royalty in many societies across the World of Avatar. Although a slow method of travel, its elaborate design is representative of power and promincence, which political figures use in public appearances as a symbol of their importance.
In 100 ASC, Azula was brought before her friends in Omashu via palanquin. Weeks later, Earth King Kuei was transported to a party at his own palace on a palanquin, meaning the vehicle was used indoors.
Afterwards, when Prince Zuko left the Royal Palace to head for Mai's house, royal servants insisted he go there by palanquin, which Zuko agreed to although the destination was well within walking distance. Prior to the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Azula and Fire Lord Ozai came to a harbor on different palanquins, after which the latter departed to lead a massive assault on the Earth Kingdom.
Fire Nation Edit
Palanquins used in the Fire Nation are mostly red in coloration, with golden trimmings lining the top and edges. Two steps lead to the seat, which has red cushions and is concealed on three sides by a pink cloth attached to the exterior of the palanquin's top. A smaller cloth also hangs from the roof, though this one is mainly black and adorned with red borders as well as the Fire Nation insignia. The palanquin bearers, of which there are usually four, hold the vehicle from the bottom side where the red bars are.
The Phoenix King rides in a different type of palanquin in order to exemplify his status. It is similar in design to a traditional one, but slightly larger, has a unique design for the pillars, and is emblazoned with a golden sculpture of a phoenix on top.
Earth Kingdom Edit
Earth Kingdom palanquins are far larger and more grandiose than their Fire Nation counterpart. They resemble a temple, having a slanted green roof with golden lining. The pillars are green near the roof and become smaller as they approach the base, where it is orange in coloration. A thin white curtain conceals the internal structure of the palanquin, where the Earth King's large seat is. The palanquin has two long and yellow bars that extend from either side of the vehicle. Overall, it is more rigid and geometric in design than the Fire Nation style.
The litter is a class of wheelless vehicles, a type of human-powered transport, for the transport of persons. Examples of litter vehicles include jiao (China), sedan chairs (England), palanquin (also known as palki) (India), and gama (South Korea). Smaller litters may take the form of open chairs or beds carried by two or more men, some being enclosed for protection from the elements. Larger litters, for example those of the Chinese emperors, may resemble small rooms upon a platform borne upon the shoulders of a dozen or more men.
- ↑ "Return to Omashu". Elizabeth Welch Ehasz (writer) & Ethan Spaulding (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. April 7, 2006. No. 3, Book Two: Earth
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "City of Walls and Secrets". Tim Hedrick (writer) & Lauren MacMullan (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. September 22, 2006. No. 14, Book Two: Earth
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "Nightmares and Daydreams". John O'Bryan (writer) & Ethan Spaulding (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. November 16, 2007. No. 9, Book Three: Fire
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King". Michael Dante DiMartino (writer) & Ethan Spaulding (director). Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon. July 19, 2008. No. 18, Book Three: Fire