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Melon on Butterfly

Melon and Butterfly Kite

Fei Baoling 费保龄 painted this kite in 1962. It is 70 by 100 centimenters on silk. It is a soft wing kite in the traditional butterfly pattern. Melons symbolize good harvests and good fortune, while gourds symbolize longevity. Two of the melons are surrounded by five bats (happiness and good fortune) and there are additional bats worked into the pattern of the design. Gourds are said to contain a magic elixer to lengthen life. The butterfly itself is a symbol of young love. The eyes are 'twirlers' - disks suspended by wire or light bamboo sticks. One side will usually be coated with a shiny reflective layer.

Last update: June 2008
© Marilyn Shea, 2008