Did you know that depending on how you hold the hand fan or its opening, it means one thing or another? The language of the hand fan is very subtle and was used in Spain to communicate, especially with men. Although in the beginning men also carried a kind of smaller fan, as time went by it was used exclusively by women. Gestures and movements that showed from unconditional love to the most angry jealousy. A game of glances with the complementary fan could be very suggestive. The language of the hand fan has survived to the present day.
Widely used between the 18th and 19th centuries, this series of gestures was used to communicate with suitors or friends. Painters such as Goya, Velázquez, Sorolla or Zuloaga, among many others, have captured in their paintings the connection between a woman and her hand fan. Nowadays, most of the artisans dedicated to the elaboration of fans are located in Aldaya, Valencia. Some of these workshops are over 300 years old. Far from what it might seem, the making of a fan requires time and there are many people involved in the manufacturing process: calador, painter, polisher, fondista… Of many colors and styles, the fans are a must for the summer and for the flamenco world. Expressing your feelings through a fan is an art. Do you dare to learn the language of the hand fan?