Wednesday, October 8, 2008

- WAU -

Wau-making is an ancient art inherited from the Melaka court who popularised the kite-flying sport. The art/skill is usually passed down from father to son. Kite-making requires tremendous skill and patience. First, they use split bamboo to make the frame of the kite. Then they cover the frame with tinted, shiny glazed paper. Intricate floral cutouts and designs are delicately pasted on this paper until the wau is ready for its final decoration of bright paper tassels. A bow-shaped device is attched to the neck of the kite - this will provide a pleasant, high-pitched humming sound when the kite is flown on the sky.
Wau-making has become a declining art in the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Occasionally, you may see small wau-making activities along the road of villages, but they are not as prevalent as they were two decades ago. Traditionally, after the harvesting of padi, the people will rejoice and take part in kite-flying sport, when farmers have spare time to decorate and fly these waus. Today, this event also happens in conjunction with the royal birthday celebrations. Kite flying competitions are often held in Terengganu and Kelantan state. The person who posses wau that is superior in design and flying height will be the winner.

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