Xingyang paper parasols
The Xingyang area of Tengchong, Yunnan Province, is known as the ‘home of the paper parasol’, with a history of umbrella making dating back to the Qing Dynasty, when it was introduced from Sichuan. The raw materials for the umbrellas are sourced locally or from Burma, and the umbrellas are bonded with water from the local tazi fruit and coated with wild damson oil for waterproofing. Today, Xingyang umbrellas are very popular with tourists, so if you visit Xingyang, you should take one with you!
Dai paper parasol
The Dai paper parasols of the Xishuangbanna region are a distinctive example of local ethnicity, with a bold and archaic style and a local belief in Hinayana Buddhism. The surface of the umbrella is made of handmade Burmese paper, coloured with yellow wax powder and leaf juice, giving it an earthy yellow and dark brown colour; when the umbrella is closed, the belly is rounded and the head is shaped like a pagoda.
Guangdong paper parasols
Guangdong’s paper parasols are best known in Chaozhou. According to legend, during the Kangxi period of the Qing Dynasty, Wang Yisong from Anhui Province came to Chaozhou and opened a paper parasol shop in Khao Yuan Street, Guangdong Province, where the parasols were sold in southern Fujian and overseas. The umbrellas are usually covered in tung oil, and the bones are finer than those of modern umbrellas; the bones are threaded with hair strands, which are made from the long hair of people and are flexible and strong.
Sichuan Paper Parasols
The Sichuan paper parasol originated in the late Ming and early Qing dynasties and has a history of over 400 years, represented by the Luzhou paper parasol. Most of them are made using the traditional stone-printing process, and are painted with ‘dragon and phoenix’. As symbols of Chinese civilisation, the dragon and phoenix are also the most revered symbols of good fortune.