The paper parasol has been used through history as a shade from the sun by both men and women. Historians have unearthed hieroglyphics in Egypt that portray pharaohs being shaded by parasols to keep the hot desert sun at bay.
Both Roman and the Greek men and women utilized parasols as well, as proven by elaborate statues they created and have survived over time. However, no civilization used parasols so much and crafted them so carefully than the Chinese.
The Chinese paper parasol is hand crafted from native bamboo and wood by artisans skilled in their labor. These skills are generally passed down through the generations, as the Chinese have been producing these parasols for hundreds of years. In addition to paper, many Chinese parasols are manufactured with cloth as well, though paper is much more popular.
Often, these parasols are adorned with intricately detailed paintings of natural landscapes and animals. Though they are not used nearly as much today as they once were, the Chinese still produce a few tens of thousands paper parasols per year to be sold to collectors of Chinese art and admirers of the Chinese culture.