We have all seen and used umbrellas. An umbrella is used to protect man from the sun and rain. The umbrella is usually in the shape of a dome. There is a long stick in the centre. This is called the handle. The handle of the umbrella comes in many shapes and sizes today. The dome or the top part of the umbrella is made of cloth, plastic, paper and even skin.
The first people to use umbrellas were the Egyptians and the Greeks. They used the umbrella to protect themselves from the sun's rays and heat. The Indians, Chinese, Vietnamese and Burmese used the umbrella as a sign of respect for their kings. Even today the Malaysians use the umbrella to show royalty. These umbrellas were only used by the kings and queens. The umbrellas were of bright colours.
It was only in the 17th and 18th century that ordinary people started using umbrellas. The umbrella is used by young and old alike today. Umbrellas come in all shapes and sizes too. They are cheap and easy to own or store.