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planet. kite. matrix.

kites: pictures, cultures, people, moments.





> argentina kite-matrix SUBweb.

photos by Manolo




back to matrix : cuba



Barriletes Gigante

see: barriletes workshop bogota 2001 with kitemakers from santiago AND sumpango.

all photos © Rafael Coyote Tum y Marco Antonio Coyote Olcot

"Algunas fotos de los barriletes Gigantes de Santiago Sacatepéquez Guatemala Centro América" 2004 - 2005

a kite travel to guatemala - a letter from Don Roberts.

In late fall we took a three week trip to Guatemala. One of the highlights of the trip was the flying of kites in Santiago Sacatapequez on All Saints Day.
Have you been there? You would enjoy it.

We had a day's trip to Santiago from Antigua. We signed up for the outing, departing in a school bus (standard mode of transport in Guatemala) at about 9 in the morning. We arrived, to walk down a street jammed with people and with food and gift vendors on either side. This led to the cemetery. And
there were the kites!

The cemetery was a great setting. The graves had been lovingly spruced up and brightly decorated with marigold petals (In Guatemala the marigold is called flor de muerto). What a splash of color! In the background were huge kites (non-flying, I believe). The ones that we saw flown were big, colorful kites up to about 12 to 15 feet in diameter.

The activity involved in getting them in the air was really intense, with flyers racing through the cemetery, trying to keep the kites aloft when they started to lose air. Their failures were as much fun as their successes.
The energy and excitement was at a level that you could almost feel a participant. And it was great to have these huge kites carried past you as they went back for another try, followed with the guy with a massive ball of hemp rope about 14 inches in diameter.

All this was a great family day, with folks out with their kids, ice cream vendors rolling their carts among the graves. What a joyous way of celebrating the "life" of the dead.
I took numbers of photos, which I will bring along for you to see whenever we get together. Meanwhile, here are some that I found on the web.

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Kite flying is a popular pastime with the young boys of Guatemala and you see them flying kites everywhere. The standard Guatemalan kite is an octagonal affair. The ones at the festival are just huge versions of this basic octagonal design. Kids will fly anything; I even saw a couple trying to get a plastic bag airborne. Most kites that they fly are from about 10 to 15 inches in diameter, but some are only about five inches or so. It's fun to watch them flying their kites. They work hard at it and have a good time.

Well, other than this one-day activity, we went to the Mayan ruins at Tikal, had a couple days in the capital, spent about a week in Antigua, and the rest of the time we were at Panajachel on Lake Atitlan, broken by a two-day trip to Quetzaltenango and environs and a one day trip to the market in Chichicastenango. We found Panajachel a really comfortable place -- wonderful climate, beautiful setting, and just touristic enough to have a variety of eating and lodging choices. I took a week's Spanish classes there: one on one. This was pretty interesting in that I not only had an opportunity to brush up on my Spanish, but I had first hand discussions with a Guatemalan -- a 26-year-old school teacher earning some extra quetzales
while on his school break. The school offered free afternoon cultural activities, so I also had a visit to one of the less touristic lake towns, a hike through a tropical botanic reserve, and a fascinating hike up to a Mayan cave where I witnessed Mayan prayer rituals. This was just great! I felt like I had stepped into a page from the National Geographic Magazine. I took a couple of photos which I thought would be the best of the trip. The cave just ate up all the light from the flash, and all I got was a gray print with some small flames of candles.

Well, this is all the communication for now. ..
Hope to see you some time soon.





back to matrix : guatemala


photos by Manolo
Santa Monica, Tlalnepantla, Mexico

back to matrix : mexico


nasca colibri carving

"condor 1" balloon 1975 + tetra ballon replica draft


a thesis: ancient kites at nazca ?

Were the Nazcans capable of flight? "First, paintings on pottery found in the area show images of what may have been balloons or kites. Second, wide, circular 'burn-pits' containing blackened rocks have been found at the end of many of the lines, which may have been launch sites for hot-air balloons." - [ or kites. ]

- Erdzeichen von Peru - Zeugnisse einer prähistorischen Luftfahrt? -

- "It was not for another 2000 years after the Incas uses balloons at Nasca that the use of balloons were rediscovered by a Jesuit priest from Brazil named father Bartolomeu de Gusmao. He demonstrated his hot air balloon to the Portuguese court at Lisbon in 1709 possibly he was inspired by the legends of the ancient south American cultures." - "where did Bartholomeu tried his balloon first - in Brazil or in Portugal?" -
- "südamerikanische Indianerstämme zu Festen kleine Heißluftballone aus Papier oder Tierblasen aufsteigen lassen.." -

- balloon testings nazca -

- soon: link to project " sacrificial kites " -


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