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A Brief History of Hand Fans

Hand Fans

Hand fans, also known as thworp fans, clack fans, circuit fans, rave fans, or drag queen fans, have been a major part of world history, popularized throughout time by many different cultures and communities. It is believed that either Japan or China was responsible for creating this genius, clacking accessory that was later adopted through trading by European cultures as a stylish symbol of wealth and prestige.

Fans became a symbolic accessory with the high court and their ball room eleganza, which was not just about being a flashy bitch, but also courtship. Because of this, a “secret”, flirtatious fan language was created. Fans essentially became the original dating app, letting potential partners within your vicinity know whether you spit, swallow, fuck on the first date or are a professional tease who just wanted to see some D before ghosting.

As practical accessories, fans never faced erasure from culture, but instead clacked their way into the hands and hearts of people across the globe. Their performative nature allowed them to become a staple in fashion, dance and throwing a ton of shade. From the lightest flick to the most assertive clack, fans continue to keep away pesky bugs and fuck-boys while cracking necks and likely garnering some vicious side-eye.

Whether you are overheating in a cabana, sweating on a dance floor, breaking ice, making a statement or are “so into vogueing right now”, a Dirt Squirrel bamboo hand fan or metal hand fan will give you the power to be a bad ass bitch and continue writing history.

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