The Hand fans represent one of the most distinct cultures of Spain. Especially in the Basques speaking regions, whose origins are lost in time and the people of Andalucia whose way of life draws heavily from the Middle East . It was understood that traders brought hand fans back from China to the Middle East
during early stages. As the Andalucia people life draws heavily from them the use of fan followed.
In contrast with the Basques of Northern Spain, the culture of Andalucia was shaped by the Moors of North Africa who crossed over to Spain during the 711 A.D. In one generation most of them intermarried with the native Spaniards. They brought with them a protective view that their wives and daughters: the women in the families were to be beautiful, discreet, and private. The hand fan, or also known by the Spanish people as 'abanico', was a perfect complement. The fan was just the right thing to provide a sense of privacy, mystery, and allure, while providing relief from the baking hot summers of Southern Spain .
During the 1400's, the Spanish people appreciated the feeling when seeing dark haired beauties gracing at the Spring Fairs of the Provinces of Granada, and Sevilla, dancing either the popular "Sevillana" or the intense and exotic "Flamenco" flashing fan in their hand.
Fans produced in Spain comes in countless sizes and designs. The cost of fans varies to the proportion to the fan size, the kind of material used as a frame (wood, metal or plastic), the type, and quality of the fabric used as webbing, and the complexity of the decoration. There are large selections of fans which are crafted on carved pear wood, with delicate cloth webbing that are hand painted with traditional designs.
Today hand fans are still used by many Spanish ladies during their hot summer as a mean of keeping cool. Also, the uses of the fans during dancing are still very popular.