PARASOL (Fr., from Ital. parasole: parare, to shield, and sole, sun), a sunshade, a light or small form of umbreUa, covered with coloured silk or other material. In Japan and China gaily coloured parasols of paper stretched on bamboo frames are used by all classes. The parasol of an elaborate and highly ornamented type has been the symbol of high honour and office in the East, being borne over rulers, princes and nobles. The negro chiefs of West Africa reserve to themselves the privilege of bearing parasols of considerable size and substantial construction, the size varying and denoting gradations in rank.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)