Monday, January 23, 2012

Wau Bulan: Keystone Kiters Winter Retreat, Camphill, Pennsylvania, USA

The Keystone Kiters, through Kevin and Cinda Shannon, invited me to share my knowledge on making the Wau Bulan for their winter kitemaking retreat of which I was very obliged to accept it. But the biggest problem that confronted me was where was I going to get the materials? I haven't seen any Bamboo clumps around in Pennsylvania and even if there is, I cannot be sure if it would be suitable for making kites. And there were host of other materials that were needed which may or may not be the same and subtituted.

Making a traditional kite is not as same as the modern kite. The rituals relating to the Bamboo as highlighted in my earlier postings have to be observed. The process of making the Wau frames alone may take several days. If a decorated Wau Bulan is to be made, the process of preparing the sail alone may take weeks. So, I decided on a simple one day program. My aim is to expose the participants on the technical aspects of making a Wau Bulan and send them home with a homework to complete the decorated sail (of which I cannot guarantee that they will complete it). Nevertheless, in order to make sure that they will not go back empty handed, I call for DIY Kits to be flown from home all the way to the US. Hence, the Wau Bulan making winter retreat was successfully conducted on January 22, 2012 at Camphill Borough Hall, Pennsylvania.

For all of the participants, this was to be their first at working on a Wau Bulan. However, their skills and mastery in kitemaking had helped them to quickly adapt to making a Wau Bulan. Following are the evidences of their labour, patience and success. Credit to Cinda Shannon who had worked very hard to prepare for the retreat but was unable to be with us during the conduct of it.