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With 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.

Folding 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.
During 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.


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