Guyanese continues kite making tradition

Guyanese continues kite making tradition
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Trevor Smith says he is known as the grandmaster of kite making in Guyana. “Making kites come with three phases. I love making kites…I have a passion for preparing my frames, and at the end of process, I feel joy when I see what I have accumulated from honest work,” said the street vendor, who has become a permanent fixture at the corner of Regent and Camp streets, in the capital city of Georgetown, during the Easter season.

“Kite making for me is a discipline, it has brought clarity to my life. I have chosen the right friends, and I have lived a problem-free life,” said Smith.

“I see myself as an “Easter Claus.” I make sure kids are happy when they purchase one of my products,” assured Smith, who uses a special brand named “Barbados kite paper,” that is durable, and makes a kite soar into the air.

The kite connoisseur designs kites in several sizes from 3ft to 18ft, in a color-blocking star-point design, now on display at the busy Regent and Camp Streets area.

Smith said he has done many studies on kites, and kids with kites. “When a kid’s kite is damaged, it is the worse experience, because that kid feels down-spirited, explained the kite maker, who has made his house a workshop to share his skills with neighborhood children.

However, the fabricator wants to share the spotlight with others, as such, he is encouraging fathers to take up the mantle to carry on the tradition by teaching their children the art of kite making.

“Fathers should focus on showing their kids how to assemble our traditional Guyanese kite, instead of purchasing imported-made kites.”

“I place emphasis on fathers because during my years selling kites from the age of 16, I have noticed that most of the time during the Easter season, 75 persons of persons who purchase kites are mothers. Mothers prepare the lunch basket for a family outing, but many times, fathers are missing from this pastime.”

“When I was growing up, my mom took us out in the morning, and later in the afternoon my father did the same, to fly our kites. It is a family-oriented day,” said Smith, who feels that this is a great way for a parent to bond with a child.

He described the method of hoisting a kite, as “one person holds up the kite, while another grips the string attached to the kite, wait for a strong breeze, and then say loose,” demonstrated the artist who enjoys seeing a kite soar into the breezy atmosphere.

The dazzling array of multi-color masterpieces, attract kite flyers, many, who were observed choosing the intricately designed toy, that is made with a light frame and finished with a tail to help the kite climb into air.

Smith is well known for the six-point star design and the vast color scheme he said he has created over the years to make his collection pleasing to the eye of customers.

“I am connected to the universe and to the Guyanese people. I am thankful for the support they have given me over the many years,” he said.