BĪRŪNĪ, the public or male quarters of wealthy households, used for the conduct of business, male religious ceremonies (such as sofra dādan), and parties for men. The bīrūnī was less furnished than the andarūnī (q.v.) or women’s quarters and had separate (if smaller) courtyards planted with fruit trees, shrubs, and flowers and set with pools and fountains. It contained a guest room for visiting male family members or for dignitaries and a small pantry, called ābdār-ḵāna. When food was needed, a messenger would be sent to the andarūnī, where the kitchen, pantry, and storerooms were located. The bīrūnī was sometimes separated from the andarūnī only by a covered entrance, indicating that male outsiders should proceed no further.
See also andarūnī.
S. W. G. Benjamin, Persia and the Persians, London, 1887, pp. 104-05.
N. Najmī, Dār al-Ḵelāfa-ye Tehrān, Tehran, n.d., p. 37.
E. Sykes, “Domestic Life in Persia,” Journal of the Society of Arts, London, 1902, p. 96.
Idem, “A Talk about Persia and Its Women,” The National Geographic Magazine, 1910, p. 857,
(Mohammad Ali Djamalzadeh and Ḥasan Javādī)
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 3, p. 274