Saturday, September 27, 2008

Hawaiian Menu Art ~ #2 In A Series

Another aquatint created by John Melville Kelly, this one in 1937. It was eventually included in a series of seven menus for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. This one is called "African Tulip".

The flattering, form-fitting dress worn by the model is a far cry from the garments introduced by missionaries in the 1820s and 1830s. Known as holokus, the hot, baggy, long sleeved dresses were distributed in the hope they would foster modesty and restraint. The etching below, made in 1877, shows Polynesian women none too comfortable and looking somewhat peeved in their holokus. This style of dress eventually morphed into the much more popular muumuu.

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