The giant kites of Sumpango are a tradition -of local origin-, dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Guatemalans appreciate the wonders of these pieces of art, but little is known about their elaboration.
How are the giant kites of Sumpango made?
Unlike smaller-scale kites, which require a maximum of two people to make them, the giant kites of Sumpango are a collective tradition.
That is to say, it requires groups of at least 10 to 15 young people of different ages -on average 16 years old- to make them.
Although age is not a strict requirement, an approach is made to youth given their motor skills and strength to lift these pieces of art made of Chinese paper.
The work for their elaboration can begin between 2 to 3 months in advance in which each group meets to organize themselves. The Permanent Kite Committee of Sumpango is in charge of laying the foundations and final themes for the creation of the kites.
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Categories of the giant kites of Sumpango
During the meetings and prior to defining a design, a category of participation is also established. To define to which category it belongs, the design, size and flight are taken into account.
- A complex design, but whose objective is to be observed and appreciated.
- They are usually larger, reaching up to 16 meters in diameter.
- Therefore, since they are so large, it is understood that they will not fly.
- Outstanding for their complex design
- A size between 4 to 6 meters in diameter
- Their ability to fly and stay in the sky for several minutes.
- It is estimated that the kites can cost up to Q2,000.00 due to the complexity of the designs and the quality of the materials.
- The winning group can win a cash prize.
The complexity of the size was not important between 1900 and 1991. Generally, it was no larger than 6 meters in diameter.
- However, from 1992 onwards, the size grew to over 10 meters in diameter.
- Many groups take advantage of this opportunity to use designs that identify their indigenous community or even their Mayan roots.
- Geometric figures are the best to glide through the skies.
The giant kites of Sumpango are a tradition that everybody enjoys in Guatemala. event the president of cmi juan luis bosch gutierrez . Be one of them by atttending it on your next trip.