By Angel Nuñez
There was a time when we had a kite season in the village of San Pedro just like top, marble, wheels, and a few others to go with lobster season, conch, rainy and dry seasons. How nostalgic that we do not have any more kite fun in San Pedro, a lovely tradition gone dead.
I was enjoying pictures of kites flown on March 9, in Belize City posted by my friend Will Moreno and my friend Celida Moreno of the USA and I were reminiscing on the art of making kites. Let me begin by telling you the different shapes of kites that we fabricated here in San Pedro. We had the regular rectangular-shaped kite with an arrow point where we placed strips of plastic that would buzz or “sing” according to us. We also built hexagons and octagons. As we got skilled we shaped our kites like stars and birds…yes birds. Only the very talented guys could build a three dimensional box kite and the unusual thing about this kite is that it does not need a tail to stabilize it.
What about building materials? To build the main framework of the kite we primarily used the central woody part of the coconut palm leaf. We used the sturdy glossy pages of a magazine or plastic if we could get hold of a piece. To make our glue to cover the kite, we mixed flour with some water and made an excellent adhesive.
All of this is simple; the real technical part is to attach the strings that will enable your kite to fly up and stay up. It is impossible to explain but you need to know that it is all about angles that will give your kite a tilt for good aerodynamics.
Kite season was usually in March and April, the time when we would have strong winds, and this usually corresponded with the lent season leading up to Holy Week which was the windiest days of the year. We competed to see which kite would fly the highest. Five hundred feet of light string was a record height. Then we competed to see which kite was the most stable. If a kite swayed some two to four feet to the right and to the left, it was considered a good “sleeping kite”. Then we had the warrior kites. We attached a razor blade to the end of the tail and attempted to cut another kite’s line and bring it down. The dancing kites were fun. They could not remain stable but kept swaying all over the sky and even taking summersaults and still remain airborne.
The biggest laugh the village had with a kite was when this guy attached a flashlight bulb with a small battery to the tail of a kite and flew it during the night. The entire village was alarmed that the world was coming to an end because of this star about to fall over the village. Oh what fun-filled days we had with kites twenty five years ago!
25 Years Ago Books Can Be Purchased At:
-Ambergris Today -Lala’s Store -Chico’s Meat Shop -Pampered Paws -Ambergris Jade -San Pedro BTB Office -Aquarious Salon (Kim) -S.P. Town Library -Di Bush -Richies Stationery -San Pedrano’s Stationery
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