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Oldest kite in the world comes from Southeast Sulawesi: Museum

News Desk
News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Sat, June 2, 2018 | 10:10 am
Oldest kite in the world comes from Southeast Sulawesi: Museum

Asep Irawan, a staff member at the Layang Layang (kite) Museum in South Jakarta, says the oldest kite in Indonesia comes from Muna, Southeast Sulawesi. (Shutterstock/File)

Kites are commonly known as traditional toys, as the flying contraption is thought to date far back into history. 

Asep Irawan, a staff member at the Layang (kite) Museum in South Jakarta, said the oldest kite in Indonesia came from Muna, Southeast Sulawesi, dating back to ancient times. The kite is known as kaghati kolepe.

"In Muna, Southeast Sulawesi, kites are made from the kolope leaf. It is said that people wanted to reach the god by flying kites," Asep said as quoted by kompas.com

The search for the gods using kites is depicted in drawings on cave walls, which was drawn using blood, as well as brownish-red plant sap. The ancient drawings can still be seen in the Sugi Patani cave in Liang Kabori village, Muna Island. 

Read also: South Sulawesi receives UNESCO recognition for 'phinisi'

Asep added that German kite enthusiast Wolgang Bieck claimed that kites from Muna date back further in history than those from China, supporting the argument that Southeast Sulawesi traditional kites were the oldest in the world.

Up to today, Muna residents continue the tradition of making of kites from leaves.

"Uniquely, the graves of the people from Muna are still covered by kites," Asep said, adding that he was unsure what the meaning behind the practice was. 

The kaghati kolepe is among the collection of kites displayed at the museum, which is located in Pondok Labu, South Jakarta. 

In addition to seeing various kites from around Indonesia and the world, museum visitors can also learn how to make their own. (liz/kes)

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