Kite-making craftsmanship

2022-08-12 Editor : Li Ji ECNS App Download
Special: Decoding the Culture Genes of China

(ECNS) --The kite, the earliest aircraft, is said to have been made and flown by Chinese people some 2,000 years ago.

Extraordinary imagination and repeated test flights have enabled humans to create kites of different shapes while advancing distinctive crafts.

In ancient times, kites were originally made for military purposes. It was in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) that kite flying gradually became an entertainment activity.

Kite-making turned into a professional craft during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and reached its climax in the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). Flying kites then began to gain popularity.

It was deemed significant for literati to make kites and meet friends with shared interests.

Making kites involves various crafts such as framing, paperhanging, and color drawing. The workmanship of kites is also regionally characterized.

Whether in Beijing or in the Tibet Autonomous Region, people love flying kites.

Tianjin kites stand out for their three dimensional structure thanks to a tenon and mortise framework.

In Nantong, Jiangsu Province, "Banyao" kites are installed with whistles that make beautiful sounds while flying.

Weifang kites in Shandong Province are most famous for their large and magnificent "dragon-head centipedes."

Beijing kites use special bionic techniques to create lifelike shapes.

In Lhasa, Tibet, people engage in kite-fighting by controlling the length of the kite string.

Kite artisans have integrated traditional Chinese culture and local characteristics into the process, creating a unique craft.

As the poem goes, "Children return home in haste after school, eager to fly kites when there is yet wind." Flying kites has long been an unforgettable part of childhood memories in China.


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