Stenciled warps, tie-dyed wefts (?)

This amusing dragonfly motif enjoyed some popularity in the early 20th century, and is combined here with other designs for variety. Bright & Daring, catalogue of an exhibition at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, shows similar dragonflies on an orange checked background. On this kimono they share the ground with a traditional design of rippling water.

The water and dragonflies are both so stylized and abstracted as to appear almost brick-like from a distance, adding to the viewer’s pleasure and surprise on coming closer. The bright colors and very long sleeves indicate that this would have been worn by a young woman.

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