The dragonfly of the Kan-no-mado
1. In 1922, anthropologist Frederick Starr published an article on paper folding in Japan Travel Overseas magazine. He included part of the diagrams to make the dragonfly.
Gershon Legman read that article in 1951 and the following year sent Ligia Montoya that diagram (see enlargement in the image below), with the challenge of finding a way to solve the missing steps.
2. Layout with the incomplete series of drawings that Gershon Legman sent to Ligia Montoya in 1952. If we compare with the original series (see below), we can see that the first three pages of the complete diagram are missing.
3. Letter from Ligia Montoya responding to the challenge that Gershon Legman sent her in 1952 and a diagram showing her deduction. The letter says: "About the solution to the problem represented by the dragonfly, I will say that I do not think it is exactly what we are looking for, but as the Italians say: "si non è vero, è ben trovato."
To know more about the life and work of Ligia Montoya, you can read the book "Paper Life, the Story of Ligia Montoya".
4. In 1960, Julia Brossman rediscovered the drawings that anthropologist Frederick Starr had made based on the Kan-no-mado encyclopedia (she found them at the US Library of Congress. Later, a full copy of the enciclopaedia was found in Japan.) With that material, she and her husband Martin Brossman published the book "A Japanese Paper-folding Classic". The complete four-pages layout of the dragonfly is reproduced here. As can be seen, Legman only owned the last page. The only person who had been able to figure out the previous steps ten years before the Brossman's finding was the Argentine paperfolder Ligia Montoya.