The ancient Chinese loved
fans. The earliest fans were made of feathers. One of the ancient
Chinese gods, Zhong-Liquan
(the war god), often carried a fan of feathers, although no one
knows why. Perhaps he simply liked it.
Over the years, the clever Chinese people
made fans from all kinds of materials including straw and wood. But it
was not until the Ming Dynasty that the Chinese discovered the art of
paper fan folding.
They did not invent the folded paper fan.
That invention arrived from Japan and Korea on the Ming
Dynasty ships that wandered the earth in search of treasure.
Once the folding paper fan was introduced into ancient
Chinese society, it was immediately adopted.
Everyone had to have a folded paper fan.
Fans were embroidered and painted and decorated and hung.
It was more than a fad. It soon became a
national activity - nearly everyone made and carried gorgeously
decorated folding paper fans.
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