Kite Cultures

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Afghanistan

Known for its large fighting kites, Afghanistan has a long kite history. The kites probably arrived via trade routes from India and are made in …

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Known for its large fighting kites, Afghanistan has a long kite history. The kites probably arrived via trade routes from India and are made in …

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Australia

Historically, Australia plays an important role in modern kite development. It was the home to Lawrence Hargrave, inventor and aeronautical researcher who is credited with …

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Burma/Myanmar

Burma/Myanmar is mentioned in Clive Hart’s Kites, an Historical Survey as one of the places where kites first traveled along early trade routes. It is …

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Cambodia

Almost eradicated by the Khmer Rouge regime, the two thousand year old Cambodian kite tradition has been revived through the efforts of retired Ministry of …

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Canada

Like Australia, Canada’s place in world kite history occurred at the beginning of the 20th century. Alexander Graham Bell’s experiments with tetrahedral kites and his …

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Caribbean

There are many kite cultures in modern Caribbean countries and most feature kites flown during the Easter season. It is probable that kites arrived in …

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Chile

Kites (el volantin), along with tops (el trompo) and soccer (el emboque), are among the traditional pastimes of Chilean youth. Kites are often flown to …

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China

Is China the birthplace of kites? Perhaps, perhaps not. Expert opinion has swung toward the island cultures of the Pacific, with their functional leaf kites …

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Europe

The earliest illustration of a European kite is in Walter de Milemete’s De Nobilitatibus (1326/27), a possibly three-dimensional dragon. Pennon kites were common and popular …

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Guatemala

Perhaps the oldest and certainly the most notable New World kite tradition is that of the Barriletes Gigantes of Guatemala. These kites, flown during the …

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India

As in many Asian and Middle Eastern countries, India has an ancient kite fighting tradition. The traditional kite, patang, is a simple-looking two-spar tissue paper …

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Indonesia

A country with one of the richest kite heritages in the world, Indonesia boasts the leaf kites of Sulawesi, the Pechukan, Janggan, and Bebean of …

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Japan

For more than a thousand years, the Japanese have built and flown a surprising variety of kites, from the miniature to the mammoth. Traditional kites …

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Korea

The rectangular Korean fighter, with a hole centered in its sail, is unique in the world’s fighting kite landscape. It is flown with the mechanical …

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Laos

The country of Laos, officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, is one of Southeast Asia’s kiting mysteries. Information about the kites of Cambodia, Thailand and …

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Malaysia

Layang-layang and wau are Malaysian words for kite, in another Southeast Asia kite hotbed. With a history that may be 2000 years old, kites in …

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Mexico

Mexico has a strong artistic heritage so it is natural that kites would be found throughout the country, even though basic kite making materials are …

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New Zealand

Indigenous Maoris flew kites for ceremonial reasons believing that manu, bird-shaped kites were communicators between human beings and the gods. Early kites were made with …

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Pakistan

With kite traditions much like those of India, the kite mania of Pakistanis has been a frequent subject of government crackdown. Use of glass-coated manjha …

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Philippines

The guryon, a fighting kite of the Philippines, is made with protruding spikes that cut and tear the paper sail of its opponent. Another kite …

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South America

In a continent as large as South America, many local kite traditions exist, but the most well known is the fighting-kite culture of Brazil. The …

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Taiwan

Taiwan presents the interesting example of a region where a kite culture – making, collecting, and flying – is being created and supported through the …

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Thailand

Kite flying as a sport has been popular in Thailand for at least the last 700 years. The kite craze of the 1300s reached such …

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The Middle East

The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and North Africa. It encompasses the countries of Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, …

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