Though still invaluable on a sweltering day, the handheld fan was once a much more common item. Employed in religious ceremonies, dances and as an accessory in the act of mourning, it had a ubiquitous presence throughout history from Mesoamerica to North Africa and Europe. Believed to have helped stoke flames during humankind’s earliest days, the handheld fan appears in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics dating from as early as 3000 B.C. In many of its earliest known representations, the fan was This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Design Issue 49 At Work With: Muller Van Severen How a home renovation birthed one of Europe’s most distinguished design duos. Design Fashion Issue 49 Reid Bartelme & Harriet Jung An inquiry into costume design. Design Interiors Issue 49 Mimi Shodeinde An audience with the architect. Design Interiors Issue 48 At Work With: Studio Utte A visit to the small, sophisticated Milanese studio of Patrizio Gola & Guglielmo Giagnotti. Design Issue 48 Off to Sea with Cyrill Gutsch Meet the self-appointed design ambassador for the oceans. Design Partnerships Issue 48 Delayed Gratification In partnership with Fritz Hansen, Kinfolk unearths the long history of a new classic.