Dragons and centipedes and bird feathers, oh my!

Many Chinese kites come in a box that is just the right size. In the DF collection there are many such boxes, and you never know what you will find inside.

Centipede kite box (click image for larger version)

This week, I opened a pretty green and blue fabric-covered box to find a kite whose character totally captured me. Inside was a Chinese centipede kite.

Centipede kite box open (click image for larger version)

Color bursts from the box with a dragon head painted in bold designs of bright blue, red, orange and green. Painstakingly constructed, his mouth is open, baring sharp teeth and a bright red extended tongue. One can practically hear and feel his breath. His eyes move in their sockets and a red hair beard is tucked behind his chin.

Dragon head (click image for larger version)

Dragon head interior (click image for larger version)

The 'centipede' train, which this dragon would guide through the air, is equally beautiful and delicate, with small discs of hand painted silk fit into a circular bamboo frame. Bamboo extends from both sides of the discs to be adorned with bird feathers and soft down on each end. The feathers ruffle with my breath as I get close to inspect the details of craft and artistry.

Centipede kite train (click image for larger version)

Centipede kite feathers (click image for larger version)

Even though this kite is resting in its box, it is still full of movement and life. DF Catalog No. 2010-07-K-01640.

For more background information about Chinese centipede kites, check out a great, brief article by Tim Parish online: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/the-chinese-dragon-kite-best-known-of-the...