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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Go Fly A Kite

No one quite knows where the first kite comes from. There are many stories of legend involved with the kite. The first known history of a kite was on the South Sea Islands. The kite was used to fish, bait was attached to the tail of a kite with a web to catch the fish. Natives of the Solomon Islands continue to use kites to aid in fishing.

Kites have been used from fishing tools to worship. The Polynesian Islands represented the god Tane,and Rongo. Both gods were patron saint of the arts, kits and kite flying. Once again the knowledge of the kite spread.

New Zealand people known as the Maori thought birds could carry messages between humans and gods. Their kites were made in shape of birds. At times the kites would represent the gods themselves. The Maori god Rehua was thought to be a bird and the ancestor of kites. Kite flying was considered a sacred ritual. Chanting often went along with kite flying

My bird, by power of charm ascending,
In the glance of an eye, like the sparrow hawk, 
By this charm shall my bird arise,
My bird bestride the heavens.
Beyond the swirling waters, 
Like the stars Atutahi and Rehua, 
and there spread out thy wings,
To the very clouds. Truly so.
The Maori also used kites for divination and for funerary purposes.

Kites may have came from China. Haun Theng a chinese general in the year 202 BCE created a military strategy watching his hat fly from his head. Placing bamboo that hummed and shrieked in the wind and flying them over the enemies heads. This made the enemies believe that they were plagued by evil spirits out to destroy them and so the army ran away. Chinese and Japanese learned to use kites for raising soldiers into the air as spies of snipers.

A famous robber from Japan named Kakinoki Kinsuke was said to have used a person lifting kite to fly to the roof of a castle where statues of dolphins of gold were located. He  stole some scales from the dolphins and hid them. The story ends with him never escaping.

A tradition in Korea is to place names and birth dates of male children  on kites and then flown. The line is then cut to ensure a good year by taking away all the bad spirits.

Thailand has a tradition where each monarch has their own kite. The kite flies continuously in the winter months by monks and priests. During the monsoon season the kites are flown as well as the people of Thailand send prayers to the gods.

Get out there and fly a kite today

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