The tradition of los barriletes gigantes began when the pueblo was plagued by misfortune. In consulting the local brujos, the town was advised to make kites and that the sound of the wind rustling the fringe, those trailing paper flechas on the edges of the kite, the evil spirits would be frightened away and not bother the town. Since then the kites have become bigger and more innovative in form, combining ancient Maya cosmology with contemporary messages. Over 600 people in Sumpango work every night for over four months making these kites from tissue paper and glue. Kites smaller than 6 meters are flown in an afternoon competition. For the larger kites, the challenge is to successfully mount these delicate and enormous designs on a lattice of bamboo.
Of course our own efforts at kitemaking were more modest, but satisfying nonethess. Followed by a private Mayan shamanic ceremony with Sumpango nana ,Delphina.
Like many other towns throughout Latin America, Sumpango also celebrates Dia de los Muertos by cleaning and decorating the cemetary with flowers. On November 2, families spend the day together at the cemetaries, preparing lunch there, remembering the ancestors and of course, flying kites.
Join us this year and see what the kitemakers have in store for 2013!