Peter Lynn has recently written a short article on this. I'll rip
off a copy I saw in the Kiteflier...
Kite Origins - maybe!
During July 1996 I attended a kite festival at Kendari in Indonesia.
Present at this festival were representatives of various local ethnic
groups. One such group were the Muna, an indigenous people from an outlaying
area of South East Sulawesi. The Muna had been brought to the Kendari
festival through the efforts of Sari Madjid and a govener of S.E. Sulawesi
for the purpose of introducint their traditions to the wider world of kite
flying. Their kites were complex an sophisticated but used only natural
materials. I noticed them initially because many of their techniques seemed
not dissimilar to Maori kitemaking although scraped coconut frond fibre
was used in place of scraped flax etc. I heard them using the word "Manu"
and was very surprised when an interpreter defined it for me as their
word for "kite" (or maybe a particular type of kite) because "Manu" is
also the New Zealand Maori name for kite. As far as I am aware some
ancestors of the New Zealand Maoris began the migration that eventually
took them to New Zealand via Melanesia and Polynesia from this general area
more than 5000 years ago.
The obvious inferences from this are that the kites may have origins in
Indonesia and may be much older than we think but we need to be very
cautious about jumping to conclusions. There are many alternativce
explanations ranging from my misunderstanding what was said or meant
to coincidence to ---? But at least the possibility warrants further
investigation via ethnology and luinguistics.
Anyone looking for a thesis topic?
Typing errors by Andrew...
How to look like an idiot on rec.kites:
1) Post a personal reply to the newsgroup