Kite | Brazil

Name in Original Language

Pipa

Area Where Played

Brazil

History

The first occurrence of the kite is uncertain. Some people say that ancient civilizations of Egypt used flying objects. What is known is that the kite is used in China for centuries in their religious festivals, in order to obtain happiness, luck and fertility.
The most accepted version of how the kite arrived in Brazil is that it was brought if the Portuguese people around 1600. The Portuguese would have known it during their journeys over the eastern world.
During the slavery ages in Brazil, the slaved people that escaped use to go to safe houses called quilombo. The most famous quilombo (Palmares) used to use kites as a way to announce when any kind of danger was approaching.
The kites stay present in our culture until today, and some games have developed during the years.

Detailed Description

This game is one of the most easily founded throughout Brazil. In almost every city’s sky of the country there are kites flying. The game, most common between boys, is strongly connected with Brazilian culture.

Made of many sizes and shapes, the kite is a cheap toy to build and doesn’t require a court or a specific place to play.

Most likely made with colorful tissue paper, the kites can be made of many materials as plastic or sulfite paper. Fixed to a skeleton of wooden sticks, the kite uses the wind to go up in sky, while the player control it with a thread attached to its end. At the same corner of the thread, some pieces of plastic called “rabiola” are attached to balance the kite.

Rules

The game is not just about making the kite fly, but also about combats with other flying kites. It demands many skills to the player, once this combats ends with someone losing the kite for the winner.
The battle consists in two kites trying to cut the opponent’s thread. Using some specific movements, the player can make his kite cut the enemy’s kite. It is also very common to use a substance made with glue and milled glass that improves the cutting capacity of the kites.
Once one kite is cut, the universal rule is that this falling kite has no owner, and the first one to get it when it’s on the floor will keep it.