Dániel Balogh danbalogh at gmail.com
Tue Oct 17 16:17:23 UTC 2023

Dear Colleagues,
can anyone recommend (and perhaps share) any useful literature about kites
in India? I mean the ones with a bamboo frame that you fly on a string, not
the ones with feathers that fly themselves and eat rats. I'm mainly
interested in general overviews, about the history of Indian kites and
about kite flying, kite making and kite fighting in modern India, not so
much in any narrowly specialised details, but anything is welcome. I've
skimmed "A Kite Journey through India" by Tal Streeter and "A Different
Freedom" by Nikita Desai, but the former is far more interested in anecdote
than in checking and reporting any facts, while the latter, even while
being a mine of interesting detail, seems to be by and large a haphazard
and incoherent collection of poorly verified, often repetitive, usually
incomplete, and sometimes contradictory factoids.
In addition to generalities, I would be happy to learn if any of you have
come across references (or possible references) to kites in Sanskrit, or in
vernacular literature before the 16th century. For the former, I'm only
aware of the Pañcatantra story about the wooden Garuḍa, which is more a
flying machine than a kite. For the latter, I know about a verse by Nāmdev,
but no others.
Many thanks for any tips,
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