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The language of the hand fan The language of the hand fan
We would like to share this curiosity with you, during a certain period of time (century XIX and beginning of the XX), the fan become an ideal instrument of communication in an age on which freedom of speech for women was absolutely restricted.

The main gestures and their respective meanings that together configured what it was known as “the language of the hand fan” were:

To hold the fan with the right hand in front of the face.
Follow me.

To hold it in the left ear.
I want you to leave me alone.

To let slide it on the forehead.
You have changed.

To move it with the left hand.
They are watching us.

To change it to the right hand.
You are imprudent.

To throw the fan.
I hate you.

To move it with the right hand.
I love another.

To let slide it on the cheek.
I want you.

To hold it closed.
Do you love me?

To let slide it on the eyes.
Go away, please.

To touch the edge of the hand fan with the fingers.
I want to talk to you.

To hold it on the right cheek.
Yes.

To hold it on the left cheek.
No.

To open and close it.
You are cruel.

To leave it hanging.
We will continue being friends.

To fan slowly.
I am married.

To fan quickly.
I am engaged.

To hold the fan in the lips.
Kiss me.

To open it slowly.
Wait for me.

To open the hand fan with the left hand.
Come and talk to me.

To strike it, closed, on the left hand.
Write me.

To semiclose it in the right and on the left.
I cant.

To hold it opened, covering the mouth.
I am single.

 
 
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