Flying Leaf Kites in Sumatra: Question Posed: Did Kites Originate in Southeast Asia?

Tal Streeter
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Sumatra's jungle foliage stayed with us right up to the village of Mutun's narrow, white sand beach.

Though I could not identify it conclusively, standing on the beach looking out over the bay, I felt the prescence of one of the most spectral births of a land mass on planet earth, the island of Krakatoa: The massive volcanic eruption of Krakatoa in August 1863 sent tidal waves killing more than 36,000 people in the island inlets off the coasts of Sumatra and Java. In the days that followed this cataclysmic upheaval, Krakatoa generated waves traveling and recorded at points as far distant as the English Channel.

Today, the bay waters were crystal clear, its surface as smooth as a mirror-a picture right out of the travel folders, and, as always, at the moment absorbed in the prospect of new (or old) kite lore, there wasn't another place on earth I needed or wanted to be.

As we drove up, a friendly, amiable young man named Anshory Djausal hailed us.

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