its profound culture, the Chinese Fan is the part of the principal
section of traditional Chinese folk custom, which is closely related
to the culture of Bamboo and Buddhism. Historically China is well
known as the kingdom of fan making. Fan is made from Bamboo, wood,
paper, ivory, hawksbill, jade, feather, as well as palm leaf,
areca leaf, straw of wheat, cattail leaf and so forth. With these
materials, fan is made into a variety of crafts. Fan is beautifully
shaped and refined with hundred folded art value after carved,
ironed, drilled or printed by famous craftsman or written by famous
persons. The Chinese fan culture was originated from ancient time.
Our ancestor used feather and leaf with simple processing to shield
the sunlight and weave for cooling. Fan has more than three thousand
year history in China. After reform and improvement, it was developed
to hundred of families. In all fans were classified into two types.
One is flat, the other is folding fan.
fan, also known as head gathering fan in ancient times, was named
because its two ends could be met together when folded, It was manufactured
in southern Song dynasty and became popular in Ming dynasty. During
Ming and Qing dynasties, folding fan reached a period of great prosperity.
And the end rib of fan was made from precious materials such as
ivory, rood wood, bird bone processed by carving to form different
shapes like ruyi, violin, wave, mantis¡¯ leg while the fan rivet
was shaped as a bottle, gold fish, water chest nut, olive etc. As
to the fan covering it was painted, written on poems and articles,
some were related to Buddhism culture. In the stage fan was looked
as a tool to express the mood of the actors or actress. Many Chinese
ancient literatures made fan the clue of the story development.
In southern China, a gentleman used fan as the gift to his fiancee
when he indicated the engagement. From Tang dynasty fan became the
country¡¯s gift to its neighbor country. Till now people like to
give a fan to their friends as a gift.
west Han Dynasty one kind of flat fan called happiness fan became
popular. It was also called palace fan or round fan, which was round
shaped with fan handle as its middle axis. Round fan was symmetrical,
shaped by bamboo and covered by fine silk. The best round fan was
made from Shandong¡¯s silk and Hunan¡¯s bamboo. This symmetrical round
fan had been popular for many years and became the traditional Chinese
fan type. Until Qing dynasty it was evolved to oval, square, mei
flower, sun flower, seed, kidney or hoof shaped fan which was characterized
by symmetry, light and artful.