pankha (Fan)

About this object

History of use

The pankha, or hand fan, has been produced in a variety of shapes and sizes, using different techniques and materials, in accordance with its particular function, be it practical or ceremonial. Simple fans made of palm leaf are used to whisk away flies or to fan the barbecue. A complex fan might be used for temple ceremonies or social gatherings or carried by a bride on her wedding day. This fan was handcrafted by a woman who would have worked at home. Because one side is heavily beaded and the other is covered with pink fabric, it is likely that this fan was intended to be decorative rather than functional.

Physical description

Fully beaded u-shaped fan over woven rattan or grass (?). Birds and bushes in blue, yellow, red, green, and orange on white background, multi-coloured handle and looped fringe at bottom. Reverse side is pink fabric.