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Crescent-shaped matted fans

The word fan derived from the Latin vannus, the Roman instrument for winnowing grain. This winnowing-fan, held sacred by all the peoples of the ancient world must be accounted amongst the earliest of the prolific fan-family. The origin of hand fans can be traced back 4.000 years ago in Egypt. It was used in ceremonies and seen as a symol of power. In this great funeral procession from a royal writer in Thebes servants wear similar crescent-shaped matted fans, along with the more graceful semicircular spring-hand fan used by ladies to fan themselves.

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Also in this room