Distaff Side of the Sport: Fair Sex Play Key Role in China Kiting

Ben Ruhe
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In a sport which in the West seems often to be largely dominated by men, kiting in China presents another face: A majority of men, yes, but lots of women too----in participant, administrative, and support roles. Here’s a look at some of the fair sex in action during a spate of kite festivals and celebrations in China in the spring of 2004.


A village in Shandong Province called Jangjiabu devotes itself almost exclusively to kitemaking. Here a greeter at the town’s kite museum uses a centipede kite to fetching effect in showing off her coiled hair. The kite’s dragon head perches atop her head. At a stadium event in Guiyang celebrating the opening of the national championship, greeters were easily identified by their baredshoulder gowns.


Assembly line kite production by a line of women goes on year around in Jangjiabu village. Organized into repetitious steps, the work is carried out with expertise and speed.

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