1400 B.C. Mesopotamia. The birthplace of a shade sheltering device.
Umbrella… from the Latin word Umbra… for shade. No rain down
there in the desert land. They all needed a shade maker. Till about
1200 B.C. Utilitarianism becomes religious in nature. Nut… a
celestial goddess whose body formed the canopy of the sky… spanning
the earth like a vast umbrella. Only her toes and fingertips touched
the ground. Man-made umbrellas were now the embodiment of Nut. Are
you a nut man? Nope… just a lowly human umbrella holder. I’m not
saying that’s where it comes from. But it’s a thought.
The Greeks and the Romans picked up the torch. And the umbrella
continued to thrive. However they regarded it to be a tad prissy.
Derision and snickers pervaded a society that looked upon men who
used umbrellas as women do as being a tad gauche if not downright
effeminate. For women it was different. Their umbrellas became
parasols. Once a year a procession was staged at the Acropolis in
honor of the Feast of Parasols. Not too sure what that meant. Did
they eat the little ribbed things?
And then one day… women began oiling their umbrellas. Yes they did.
If it rained in the outdoor amphitheatre… the now waterproof
umbrellas went up en masse… much to the consternation of male
attendees whose visions were now obstructed.
And then a country arose. A great wilderness was tamed. The land was
populated with rough and tumble macho men. The country was called
America. Old habits did not die. Women wore umbrellas. Men wore hats.
Women stayed dry in downpours. Men got drenched. A man… a true
man… would not let something like a mild deluge trouble him. He did
not need shelter from the cascading waters descending from the
heavens … regardless of the fact that the rains left him sopping
Till one day prudence rose her head and told one and all that she was
the better part of valor. And Jonas Hanway from England came along.
And through a system of public ridicule and humiliation he managed to
make umbrellas acceptable for men. He carried an umbrella around rain
or shine. They laughed at him. They jeered. And eventually… they
Ah… but the parasol. Now that was another matter. A little umbrella
with a fringe on top. A lady’s bit of paraphernalia if ever there was
one. Pink perhaps. Or white. A fluffy little thing to protect from
the rain… or the sun… or for just plain ornamentation. Now there
was a sight to behold. And as happenstance would have it… I have
one for you to behold. Lady… Parasol… and all. Dressed to the
hilt she is she is. Sculpted in gold… in royal metal for a royal
bearing. Wanna see?
For those of you who are new to this thing called Tidbits…may I
direct you to my home page at www.tyler-adam.com where you will
scroll down the left side menu till you get to the area that says
Current Tidbits… and you will get to view an elegant brooch in gold
of a lady with a parasol.
And there ya have it.
That’s it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.