Contact Us

    Weifang World Kite Museum
    Tel:0536-8251752 / 8237313
    Fax:0536-8227009
    Email:wfwkm@sina.com
    Address:66 Xingzheng Street, Weifang City, Shandong, P.R. China
    Post Code:261041

Weifang World Kite Museum

Exhibitions

Exhibition Hall No. 1

360o Exhibition Hall Show
If you are not able to view the animated picture please install flash plug-in first

Preface

    Kite-flying is a mass sport and entertainment activity which is popular throughout the world.As one of the countries with the longest history of kite,China has benefited from the important role that kite plays in the fields of war,sport,entertainment,art,science and technology in the past thousands of years.Weifang is the hometown of kites.which had been popular with the folks as early as in the Song Dynasty(960-1279A.D.).Weifang kites have formed a unique style of wide subjects,beautiful shapes and delicate drawings.The long history and the success of Weifang International Kite Festival have made Weifang kites well-known and highly spoken of all over the world.

    This exhibition hall offers you the brief introduction to the history,development and characteristics of Chinese and foreign kites.Besides that,you can enjoy the masterpieces of kites of different countries.May you be deeply impressed by these fine works of art.

1.The Stories About the Birth of the Kite

  Various stories about the birth of the kite are spreading among the people. Some say the inspiration came from the falling and flying leaves blown by the wind, while some believe from the ancient sails. Among them, the more credible saying is that the inspiration came from the flying birds.
The Legend of Origin of Kites
  The Chinese kites have a long history . Different nations and different areas have different legends towards the origin of kites. Generally speaking, there are several kinds as follows:?
  The kites were still called “Yuan”, “Yao” by the common people. There is a saying of Paper Yuan in the north whereas Yao Zi in the south.
  What is a kite after all? It can be defined as:
  A kite is a man-made object, which is controlled by the thread and can fly through wind

 

2.China, the Birthplace of the Kite

  As the historical record says, an ancient Chinese philosopher Mo Di (478-392 B.C.) was the first one who had ever tried to make a kite but ended with a failure; later on that foundation Lu Ban, one of Mo Di’s pupils, replaced wood once used by Mo Di with bamboo as the frame and made a magpie-shaped kite, which kept flying in the sky for three days. Lu Ban was the first man who had succeeded in making a kite; hence the name “the Father of the Kite”.

 

3.What Is a Kite

A Bronze Mirror of the Jin Dynasty
  A bronze mirror with a scene of kite-flying made in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234 A.D.) was unearthed in Jilin Province, China in 1987. It is the oldest of all the material objects now available that can be used for the research of Chinese ancient kites.

 

4.The Military Usage of Kites

  The Application of Kite to Wars Shortly after its birth, kite was applied to wars. Many cases in which kite was used to measure distance, transmit messages, surmount dangers and carry men were left in history.
  In 202 B.C., Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty, and Xiang Yu were at war. In order to weaken the morale of Xiang’s army, Han Xin, a general in Liu’s side, made a kite with cattlehide and sent a soldier to the sky, who continuously sang the folksongs of the Chu Kingdom, the native place of Xiang’s soldiers. Hearing the songs, they became homesick and were finally defeated.
  Han Xin and Chen Xi would like to conspire to cast down Han Dynasty in 200 B.C. They wanted to dig a cuniculus to Weiyang Palace. In order to measure the distance to Weiyang Palace, Han Xin commanded someone to make a kite. The distance was acquired by flying the kite and calculating the length of the thread.
  A general in Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D), Zhang Pi, was besieged by the rebelling troops. The situation was quite emergent. In order to call for the reinforcements, he recked the brain and finally decided to convey the messages by the kite. Fortunately, the Letter for Help came to the reinforcements successfully and the besieged soldiers survived the war.?
  A general in Gaoli(Korea), Cuiying, in 1347 A.D, the soldiers climbed up the cliffs by kites and brought the fire seeds into the city. After that,the castle was caught fire and the rebellion was put down

 

5.The Scientific Discovery of Kites

  Gunpowder is one of the four inventions in ancient China. People would quickly combine gunpowder with kites after its invention. In Song Dynasty, someone put detonator in the kite. When the kite was towards the scope of the enemies, it would bomb. So came the name of “bombing-crow kite”. There was an officer called Wan Hu. At that time, he made use of the combination of kites and rockets made of gunpowder to try to fly. Wan Hu put 47 rockets at the back of the seat and binded himself in the seat with each hand carrying a big kite. Then light the rockets and try to fly with the propelling force of the rockets and the force of the kites escalating from the earth to the sky. Although his experiment was not successful, it indeed was regarded by the human beings as a significant issue for the first time using rockets as motivation to fly. In order to honor his achievement, the International Astro Federation named a round hill Wanhu Hill in the back of the moon.
  The inventor of electricity, a famous American scientist, Franklin, was a fan of kites. He made thunder experiments by using kites for many times. On June10th, 1752, he put his kites in the thunder sky and the electrical current was passed down along the metal thread. Therefore came the secret of thunder and the invention of lightning rod.
  The inventors of aeroplane, the Wright Brothers in America, also had close connections with the kites. When they were young, the Brothers were quite fond of the kites, since kites had enlightened their dream of flying in the sky. On December 4 th, 1903, the beach in the north of California in America witnessed the success fly of aeroplane made by the Wright Brothers. Under the enlightenment of the kites came the first aeroplane in the world initiated by the Wright Brothers. Up to now, spaceflight museum in Seattle of America has been the largest spaceflight aerocraft museum in the world. The museum displays the origin of aeroplane, invention materials and object. The first part of the exhibition concludes the Chinese kites, which demonstrate kite goes ahead of human aerocrafts.

 

6.The Application of Kite to Wars

  After the invention of kites, they were ever used in war, discovery and scientific experiments. But mainly their function was folklore entertainment. Since the beginning of Sui and Tang Dynasty, paper-pasted kites gradually flourished with the development of paper-making industry. People made kites by using paper, for it was easy to find materials, low value and common people could offer it. The description in Tang Dynasty demonstrated that children could make kites. The Song Dynasty witnessed the prevailing of flying kites. Whenever it was tomb-sweeping day, people usually came to the outskirts to fly kites. The Qing Dynasty witnessed the prosperous development of kites, especially Beijing-Tianjin Area with highly developed economies and Weifang Area with famous handicraft industry. The development of handicraft industry in the 19th century paved a new way for the development of kites. Since the popularity and development of flying kites by the common people, several kites monopolization markets occurred successively, such as Weifang, Tianjin, Nantong, and kites became popular as a folklore artcraft. Entering the 20th century, the development of Chinese folklore kites made a big leap under the influence of New Culture Movement. Not only became the entertainment for flying, but also became the artcraft for appreciation. With the deepen of the reform and opening to the outside world, especially the Weifang International Kite Festival, the folklore kites fulfilled their popularity and development. The making and flying of the kites reached their heyday in kite history.