Monday, December 14, 2015

Word of the day: flywhisk

The word of the day is flywhisk:

  1. a device for brushing away flies, often made of horsehair.
  2. a fan used to keep cool and to keep insects away.

"Because the Inka was believed to be an immortal deity, his mummy was treated, logically enough, as if it were still living.  Soon after arriving in Qosqo, Pizarro's companion Miguel de Estete saw a parade of defunct emperors.  They were brought out on litters, 'seated on their thrones and surrounded by pages and women with flywhisks in their hands, who ministered to them with as much respect as if they had been alive.'"

 - Charles Mann, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus

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