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Chinese Kites

For over 2000 years, kites and the art of kite making has held a fascination for most cultures. Some evidence suggests that kites have been flown in China since as early as 1000 BC. However, there is no real evidence to suggest when or where they were first used., or who invented them. Originally, Chinese Kites were used in military affairs and as China began to prosper the society began using them for art and entertainment purposes. Today Chinese Kite making is just as popular all over the world. Chinese kites were the inspiration for the first manned airplane built by the Wright Brothers in 1904. The Chinese kite, not unlike the case of the Chinese lantern and the Chinese umbrella, became a vehicle of artistic expression – oftentimes with literary overtones.
Kites are made of fragile materials, such as paper and bamboo, or other light woods. Because of this, there are very few kites over 200 years old surviving, as earlier samples have rotted or been burnt. Created from silk and bamboo and beautifully hand painted, traditional Chinese kites have complex details and skilled craftsmanship. Today you can find mass produced kites in the traditional Chinese style, but they do not compare to handmade kites. Kite construction consists of three parts: framing, or the preparation and binding together of the bamboo ribs that will constitute the kite's frame, gluing and decoration. Regarding framing, sometimes movement is incorporated into a kite by means of a hinged arrangement of sections of the frame, suggesting wing or tail movement, etc.

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