Beside making popular and modern kites, Huế artisans are most acclaimed for their skill and imagination in crafting elective traditional kites, appreciating the royalty and aristocratic values. Hue kites often depict royal symbols such as dragons, phoenixes, eagles, and butterflies, etc. The decorative patterns and motifs are cleverly painted on kites.
Under the Nguyễn Dynasty, kite flying was the most sought-after competition during Royal Festival in the Imperial City of Hue. This popular sport has been leveraged to be an art of puppetry in the air, depicting fairytales through sophisticated shapes, colour and storytelling kites.
Each kite is a work of art and the fruit of accumulated experience, know-how, dream, and passion. Firstly, select mature bamboo and sundry it to turn yellowish. The bamboo is sharpened into thin and flexible laths before forming a light yet solid kite frame. The artisan chooses a quality thin cloth, spread on a layer of glue made from rice powder, and cover it meticulously on the frame. After the shape gets firm and dried, the artisan starts painting and decorating. The know-how lies on the balance, the proportions of kite’s part and the precise definition of the central point to tie the string to achieve good height.
Meet one of the most passionate artisans, kite’s maker of Hue in his workshop near Hue centre. After sharing about the journey of Hue traditional kites around the globe, its history and characteristic, you will join him to craft a traditional kite: preparing the frame, cover the cloth to make shape or paint colorful pattern. Phoenixes, Peacocks and Butterflies are the most popular ones. You can experience on small, medium size kites (2-4m wide) and also explore other stunning masterpiece such as Dragon kites, nearly 150 meters long, takes a month to finish. If weather permit, he will accompany you to fly kites like a local, at Ngo Mon square, in front of Hue Imperial City for example. The experience takes two to four hours and suit best for family with kids.
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