Goose feather fan, one of the 18 essentials of Chao Zhou Gong Fu Cha.
It's funny how perception by the norm in my childhood days, things that are ugly and old (out of fashion) last long into my adulthood. I knew this goose fan was one of the essentials of Chao Zhou gong fu cha, but I didn't want to have one because compare to the new wood carved, nice paper/silk fans, not to mention the electric fans, it just looks too neolithic.
When I first used the Chao Zhou clay stove, starting a fire with a few pieces of wood charcoal was a bit of challenge, although I had a very good idea how to get it going. But in reality, the speed of starting the fire is what's important and needed be perfected. A slow fire can bring a pot of water up to boil in 40 minutes, vs a flaming hot fire can boil a pot of water in a few minutes. The very first fan I had was a hand held electric fan runs on batteries. Ha, I thought I was smart and that must be better than a goose fan. It worked, with some constant fanning. After I dropped that a couple times and broke it, I switched to a piece cardboard paper. It was working as well, also takes some constant fanning, but I didn't have to pay for it. :P
Reading Chinese classics really open my mind about ancient traditional philosophies, tools, medicines, and much more. I realize if something has lasted for thousands years and still in practice widely today, there must be a significant function of such existence which is better than others including new inventions. The western mentality is newer the better, invent and invent and more new inventions. The eastern mentality is re-invent and refine. Anyways, I told myself, I should get a goose fan because it's still being used today by the cz locals.
As I wrote a few weeks ago, it brought me sooo much joy when using it the first time. Literally started a fire from charcoals with a few small red spots to flaming fire in under a minute. It was soooo fun, I intentionally burnt most of the charcoals down to small pieces in between sessions, so I can use the fan again to start a flaming fire with newly added charcoals. :P
Scientifically, I have not studied why a feather fan works better than anything else, including the electric fan. My guess would be the feathers used are from the wings portion of the geese. They are "designed" to fly, therefore the natural feather curve is "designed" with aerodynamics. Nature is magical! Yi Jing's fundamental is also about nature, nature is the base track of human way of living. Stay on track can get you far and beyond, off track will eventually throw you back into track and start over again where you left off. I am going to learn to be smart and stay with the track. :D
I also learn to listen, accept ideas from the right sources, although with questions in mind. Sometimes I wonder if I should put aside the questions, practice with the idea to find the outcome before asking questions. Pure skepticism will not get you too far. Learn with an open mind. When the truth unfold, questions will vanish.