Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Ronda: The Fan Dance


Friday, while strolling scaling the streets of Ronda, Judy and I noticed a shop called ArtesamArt (http://www.artesamart.com). There were some beautiful fans in the windows and the place didn't look touristy, so we went inside.

I roamed the store and admired the jewellery, leather goods, pottery, and other handmade pieces while Judy talked with the salesperson, Maria. Judy was looking for a "typical Spanish fan."

We met one of the owners, Francisco, who told us some of the history of fans and encouraged us to visit the exhibit space upstairs. He joined us and we got a private tour beyond compare. I had no idea the fan actually originated in Egypt and the folding fan was invented in China, probably in the 7th century.

Francisco explained to us how some of the different types of fans are made and also shared stories of his mother (a collector), grandmother, and great-grandmother. Apparently, his grandmother didn't fan herself but slapped the open fan against her breast, while his great-grandmother opened and closed hers incessantly, never fanning herself, but instead tapping the closed fan against her open palm. We came home with little booklets describing the "language" of the fan.

We were in the store for well over an hour. I'm now a huge fan.






FRONT...
... AND BACK.








Lessons from the expert...
video

video

17 comments:

  1. Is there a fan club?
    What works of art!
    An interesting family story from Francisco.
    Great videos too, Mitchell.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jim:
      Judy and I are charter members. A great place.

      Delete
  2. So you will be giving up your air con and now use fans? I have a couple of fans, one a quite expensive Japanese fan given to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrew:
      No hand fan for me. I didn't take lessons. The fans in the store ranged in price from under 10 euros to over 4,000. The one in Judy's hand that she thought she might have to buy. Somewhere around 300 or 400 euros. (She didn't buy it.)

      Delete
  3. Well, bless my soul! If there isn't already a word for fan fans (or the study/collection of) then there jolly well ought to be one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Raybeard:
      I think they're called "fan collectors."

      Delete
  4. What a congenial man! And I tell Bing ALL the time that I plan to sit on some veranda in New Orleans with my fan sometime in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maria:
      You should order one from Francisco. He's a sweetheart. He can send you the booklet, too. I think you'd have a great time speaking in fan language.

      Delete
  5. Fan fun! Few things are so useful AND so beautiful as a fan. I have heard of the language of fans, but never come across a dictionary. Are you fluent yet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wilma:
      I know that if you open fan and place it over your lips it means "Kiss me." And an open fan waving energetically on one side means "Don´t come now, other people around." But I don't know if you'll find those two useful.

      Delete
  6. heard lots of good things about Ronda. They also have fans for men, all black.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurent:
      And not just all black. Lots of different looks for men. San Geraldo has a couple wood with blue, and also all carved wood.

      Delete
  7. Thanks, I had no idea that fans were so so very old. Interesting about the GM and GGM using the fans in different ways.
    Those fans are remarkable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ron:
      I've never had much interest other than finding some to be beautiful. Francisco opened my eyes.

      Delete
  8. Well I have to get one for those hot nights at the Opera.

    ReplyDelete

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