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bajiao shan (芭蕉扇)

Chinese designation for any palm-leaf fan, made from the leaves of the Chinese Fan Palm, i.e. a tree with the botanical name Livistonia chinensis. There are two main types of fans, i.e. woven and trimmed, with the former one similar to the Thai pad bai kapho (fig.), and the latter similar to the Thai pad bai lahn (fig.). For woven fans, the leaf is ripped around the nerves and made into a bunch of strings that are tightly woven around the handle (fig.), whereas for trimmed fans, the edge of the leaf is clipped and finished with a border, whilst more or less retaining the leaf's shape, including its natural folds (fig.). The fans can be produced in a variety of shapes and forms, and are often exquisitely decorated with typical Chinese patterns and designs, which are then frequently used as decorative items, especially those from Xinhui in Guangdong Province, which are typically decorated by embroidery and drawings, which are painted by using a burned needle.