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Folding Fan with Inscription ‘Jie Xia Hao Qing Yi’(Forging Sincere Friendship) in Nüshu Script of Jiangyong County

Late Qing (1644-1911)

Width of upper part: 39cm; Width of lower part: 16cm

Collected in 1956

The fan faces, namely its obverse and reverse side, are inscribed with characters in Nüshu script in vertical lines on the ‘missive of making friends’ and decorated with designs of flowers and birds.

深入探索

The Nüshu script

The Nüshu script, the only women’s script that has ever been identified, gained currency in Jiangyong Country and its surrounding villages, where the custom of sworn sisters prevailed. Young women used to write a missive of making friends to each other before becoming formal sworn sisters.

Jiangyong county, Hunan province

Nüshu《San Zhao Shu》