In Chinese culture, accessories are a language of beauty. They are an extension of clothing expression. With accessories, Hanfu can be more appealing. Fans are one of the common accessories in Hanfu culture. This article will lead you to understand the history of Hanfu’s fans.
Fans have about three thousands of history in China. After thousands of years of evolution and improvement, they have developed into hundreds of fans’ families. Fans were originally known as the “Five Ming Fans (五明扇, Wu míng shàn)” in history, was invented by the “Shun” (舜, Chief of the Ancient Tribal Alliance of China).
In the Yin and Zhou Dynasties, appeared a kind of “Di Fan” (翟扇, Dí shàn) made of the colorful pheasant tail feathers, so there is a saying of “Feather Fan”. At that time, the fan was not used to fan the wind, but to serve as the emperor to ward off the wind and avoid the sand.
It can be classified into two categories:
- First, Flat Fans (平扇), can not be folded.
- Brief introduction: during the Warring States, Qin, and Han Dynasties, flat fans became the mainstream of fans at that time, used by both emperors and civilians. In the Western Han Dynasty, appeared the Hehuan Fan (合欢扇, Héhuān shàn), Hehuan Fan’s handle is the central axis, and the left and right sectors are symmetric like a round moon, which is round or elliptical. It has been used for generations and has not become fading, has become a fan type of traditional style in China.
- Round Fans (团扇, Tuánshàn);
- Shape round or nearly circular, the handle is not long, mostly worn by women in the Tang Dynasty, Chinese Round fans usually draw a lady figure on the fan. The Round fans were introduced into Japan from the Tang Dynasty in the Nara era.
- Pu Kui Fans ( 蒲葵扇, Palmetto Fans,Púkuí shàn);
- Pu Kui Fans is commonly known as Pu fans. Made from the leaves and stalks of Pukui (Livistona chinensis), it is light in weight and inexpensive. It is the most popular fan in China. Summer can be used to fan, get a cool, ancient time also used to boil medicine, increase firepower. It is also a familiar thing held by The Legend of Crazy Monk (活佛济公).
- Second, Folding Fan (折扇) can be opened and folded freely.
- In the Northern Song Dynasty, folding fans appeared, which were very convenient to carry. Fan bones are made of horn, tortoise, ivory, emerald, Xiangfei bamboo, sandalwood, and other precious materials. In the Southern Song Dynasty, folding fans had been produced on a considerable scale. Folding fans prevailed in the Ming Dynasty.
Chinese fan culture has profound cultural connotations, and China has always been known as the kingdom of fan making. Ming and Qing dynasties are the peak period of folding fan development. It is not surprising that all kinds of precious materials are used on folding fan. The relationship between fans and hanfu is also very close too. Let’s appreciate how to use fans when wearing Hanfu.