Bamboo kites take flight again – the New Indian Express
Express press service
GADAG: A few days after May 10, when Karnataka went into lockdown, there appeared in the skies of Gadag a sight unknown for about four decades. Large bamboo kites, weighing over 1kg, rose very high, to the delight of all who saw it.
People fly kites in many parts of northern Karnataka ahead of the Kar Hunnime festival which usually falls in June. The weeks ahead of the festival would have been a busy time for kite makers if the second wave of Covid infections had not been so virulent and widespread. But as cases began to rise in April, several kite makers have delayed production over fears the government will put restrictions on the Kar Hunnime celebration which falls on June 24 this year.
Shankar Kondikoppa, a plastic kite maker from Gadag said production would start in April, so the kites can be supplied to surrounding villages and towns. “We hadn’t started making kites
again. But this time too, we lost business because we don’t know if the lockdown will be extended after June 6, ”he said.
Since kites are unavailable, many people in Gadag and Betageri have started making kites as before, a long time ago. It is mostly people in their sixties who remember how they were made and pass their knowledge on to younger generations, especially children who have not been to school for months.
“Our kids have been very upset this year because they missed the fun of flying kites. So we thought about techniques that we were using in the 60s and 70s. I contacted some of my friends and confirmed the techniques we use to make bamboo kites, ”says Loknath Nellur, an elderly man alive. to Ron with his family.
Typically, plastic kites – which were available in neighborhood stores for 10 rupees – weigh around 20-30g, while those made by professional kite aviators could weigh over around 300g.
But flying traditional kites is no easy task. It is an exercise in teamwork and exercise. “We decided to make a big kite – four feet long and two feet wide. It weighs over 1.5 kg and it took us four days to make it, ”Loknath explains.
Some of Loknath’s friends also made two and three foot long kites and they tried to fly them. “We succeeded and called on the children to handle it. Although it was a bit heavy for them, the kids loved flying the kites, ”says Loknath.
To find bamboo, people simply head to Nargund taluk, where it grows in the wild. Other materials include what they call maida gum (acacia brown gum), and a fine cotton fabric (of a dhoti), and “catty dhara” a term referring to Cat Thread 10, which is the locally available wire adapted to the kite. called. The tail of the kite includes a piece of burlap fabric with cotton. Since kites are large and heavy, they require two or three people to launch them into the air.
“We all enjoyed flying the big kites this year because we need more strength to hold them. Due to the cyclone the winds were also strong and the kite rose within a minute. We also decided to make more kites of this type rather than using polythene kites, ”says Charan Nayak de Ron, who flew a traditional kite about four feet long and two. feet wide with his friends Prashant Kuri, Samarth Divgihalli.
Ajit Hombali from Gadag made small kites with bamboo sticks with his family. “Due to the unavailability of polythene kites, many are using bamboo kites this time around. We had stopped kiteflying after entering the plastic kite market. We don’t have that old paper and bamboo kite fun with the plastic kites. This time I enjoyed flying paper kites and bamboo kites with my children, ”says Ajit.
Octogenarian Yogesh Kundagol from Gadag says, “It was the heyday of the 60s and 70s when we were flying bamboo kites. These were replaced by paper kites which were also environmentally friendly. But after the 90s, plastic kites hit the market and kids who made paper kites themselves started buying plastic kites.
THE OLD SCHOOL
- Bamboo sticks
- Thick wire
- Brown paper / fine cotton cloth
- Maida Adhesive (Shari-Gondu)
- Jute rope
In the 60s and 70s people flew bamboo kites
People fly kites in many parts of northern Karnataka ahead of the Kar Hunnime festival which usually falls in June
Typically, plastic kites – which were available in neighborhood stores for Rs 10 – weigh around 20-30g, while those made by professional kite fliers could weigh around 300GM.