winnowing fan


a winnower using a traditional winnowing fan
a Japanese winnowing fan being used with a winnowing basket
winnowing fans, also known as winnowing shovels


winnowing fan (plural winnowing fans)

  1. A specially shaped winnowing basket, in which grain is shaken in the process of winnowing, with the shape of the basket allowing the chaff to spill out more readily.
    • 1908, Jane Ellen Harrison, Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion[1], page 529:
      The wind is the natural winnower, but man can help the wind by exposing the mixed chaff and grain. This he throws up on the winnowing fan against the wind, the wind blows away the chaff and the heavier grain falls to the ground. The best instrument with which to do this is naturally an oar-like pole, broadened at the end to serve as a shovel. Such an instrument was the πτύον (ptúon) or winnowing fan.
  2. Any fan device, including those electrically powered, used in winnowing.


See alsoEdit