|Flying kites in China has been a tradition since the early dynasties. The kite figures stongly in the oral tradition of peoples throughout Southeast Asia, down to New Zealand., where they may have been flying kites as early as 2000 BC.
The Chinese kite developed into an art form. The silks and papers used to make kites since the Han Dynasty (221 BC - 208 AD) absorb and retain color well. Silk dyes developed for clothing fade slowly and produce vivid, saturated color. The inks used in calligraphy were well adapted to use on kites. The kites of today use a wide range of new durable materials but design and color remain fundamental requirements.
Last update: June 2008
© Marilyn Shea, 2008