Sharded Thread: Behind the Scenes at the Kite Festival in Ahmedabad

2

A behind the scenes look at the people who make sharded thread for the annual kite festival that takes place in Ahmedabad, among other places in India. If you're ever in India, do visit Ahmedabad in January to be a part of this.

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

Every year, in the month of January, the entire north and central regions of India celebrate the end of winter and the changing of seasons by being a part of the kite festival that sweeps the entire region. Pretty much throughout the month you’ll see colorful kites dotting the late-winter sky. Nowhere in India is there greater madness for the festival than in the city of Ahmedabad, in the state of Gujarat. Kids and adults, alike, participate in informal kite flying contests, each participant getting into duels with the others with only a single intention – cut the opponent’s kite from the sky and be the last kite flying!

But this isn’t an article about the kites or the festival or the people who make kite dueling so much fun. This is an article about the people who make colorful, sharded thread (thread coated with a mixture of ground glass and colorful dye) that is a critical component of the kite duels.

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

The raw material that goes into making sharded thread is really quite simple – some white yarn, a paste of ground glass and wheat flour and colorful dye (pink, orange, red, green – take your pick).

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

To start, the raw white yarn has to be stretched out between two wooden posts hammered into the ground. This little boy will probably walk several kilometers in a single working day, walking back and forth to lay out the thread!

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

The laid out thread has to be wound and checked to ensure there are no entanglements. Talk about diligence in your job!

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

Sometimes, if the thread is not laid out just right, the process has to be done all over again. More walking for the little boy!

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

The craftsman will perform one last check on the thread before the process of sharding and dyeing can begin.

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

A mixture of dye, wheat flour and ground glass, hand-applied, turns the innocuous white thread into a dangerous weapon. Kite duels are serious business in this part of the country!

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

The sharded thread then has to be wound onto spools, another hazardous process testified by the many nicks and cuts on the hands of this man, and made ready for sale.

Credits: sahilkarkhanis

And at the end, a well deserved smoke while waiting for people to come and buy the colorful, dangerous spools of thread.

written by sahilkarkhanis on 2012-03-08 in #world #locations #livelihood #local-flavor #thread #india #select-type-of-location #kite-flying #sport #craft

2 Comments

  1. nishichauhan
    nishichauhan ·

    Wow! :)

  2. adam_g2000
    adam_g2000 ·

    Excellent Article!

More Interesting Articles

  • Analog Sounds with Simeon Smith

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-31 in #people #lifestyle #videos
    Analog Sounds with Simeon Smith

    Simeon Smith is a musician who recorded the sounds of our film cameras in action and made these samples available as a free download. We couldn't resist interviewing him about this project and taking a look at some of his photos. Meet the man behind the cams here.

  • The Lomo LC-A Goes to New York City

    written by givesmehell on 2015-03-12 in #world #locations
    The Lomo LC-A Goes to New York City

    New York City is the busiest and most populous city in the USA. Home to 8.5 million people, it is a massive melting pot. The city embraces many different cultures, which makes it home to many immigrants, too. Let's take a look at NYC through the lens of the Lomo LC-A!

    1
  • Cinematographer Michal Dabal on the Petzval Lens

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-01-05 in #people #lifestyle #videos
    Cinematographer Michal Dabal on the Petzval Lens

    Here’s what happens before we interview a photographer. We gush about the work though we have yet to find out the cameras and processes behind the brilliant composition or the light architecture. And even when they haven’t used a Lomo camera, we feature them anyway. But every once in a while comes a pro who uses one of our premium lenses at work and our fun cameras off-duty. This makes us mighty glad, more so when their images are good and worth sharing. We count cinematographer Michal Dabal's work among them.

    1
  • Shop News

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    A resurrection from the zenith of Russian premium optics, get the same elegance and classic compact design as its predecessor. — available in small quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • A Journey Through New York With The Lomo'Instant Wide

    written by shhquiet on 2015-11-16 in #gear #news #videos
    A Journey Through New York With The Lomo'Instant Wide

    New York City - the ideal place to go to if you're looking for unstoppable energy. There's plenty of exciting things going on, but you need to be lightning-fast if you want to seize the moment. This is what makes the Lomo'Instant Wide the perfect camera to use - it captures all the details in one wide instant snapshot! See it in action with our special video after the jump.

  • A Salute to the Masters: Bare Soles in Como (A Tribute to Christopher Anderson)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-11-07 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Bare Soles in Como (A Tribute to Christopher Anderson)

    The young artist and Magnum photographer Christopher Anderson published on his agency's website an awesome photo series, one of the images in it a great symbol of freedom, joy of living outdoors, purity, innocence, candor, and girlhood: the bare sole of a female lifted up, taken at the Central Park in New York. Like many other great Magnum photographers, Anderson explored this interesting body part through photographs. For this tribute, I chose a series of bare feet images I took along the promenade of the lake Como. Take a look!

  • Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    written by bgaluppo on 2015-05-02 in #gear #lifestyle
    Registering Moments With the Lomo'Instant

    Some people say instant photos bring about a feeling of nostalgia. Although I often use the Lomo'Instant Camera with different crazy accessories such as the Splitzer and color gels, I have to agree there is something about it — dreamy vignettes maybe? — that always makes me want to go back in time and experience it all over again. In the name of analogue photography and good old memories, we passed by some classic spots in Vienna and took one shot after the other. Take a closer look at our gallery.

  • Shop News

    Additional Member of Diana F+ Family is Here!

    Additional Member of Diana F+ Family is Here!

    Snap your happy memories with the medium format Diana F+ Cortina! This special edition camera is a nod to fun winter holidays: snow-capped mountains, skiing and good times with friends and family!

  • Treasures Worth Saving: An Interview with Christopher Payne

    written by Lomography on 2016-02-09 in #people #locations
    Treasures Worth Saving: An Interview with Christopher Payne

    Architectural photographer Christopher Payne documents America’s industrial heritage with his large format images. For his project "Asylum," he visited 70 abandoned psychiatric hospitals across to country between 2002 and 2008.

    1
  • Romain_cav is our LomoHome of the Day!

    written by lomography on 2016-02-09 in #world #news
    Romain_cav is our LomoHome of the Day!

    From everyone here in Lomography, congratulations to romain_cav for winning Home of the Day!

    2
  • A Color Remix

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-09 in #gear #lifestyle
    A Color Remix

    It's human nature to be restless and imaginative. The real may be interpreted as what one sees or how one sees something. For the daydreamer, a scene from nature transforms into a canvas. Suddenly a field makes room for chemical coloring, all those anachronistic streaks that somehow look right. Or else, those beautiful colors amplified or subdued to their most pictorial shades. All in the world of trial-and-process film photography.

  • Shop News

    the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

     the perfect surprise for every analogue loving enthusiast

    Let your loved one pick the gift of their dreams. Lomography Online Shop Gift Certificates are the perfect present for every analogue devotee on your gift list

  • Photo of the Day by gregoire1969

    written by lomography on 2016-02-09 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by gregoire1969

    Let today's featured photo be a lesson on the usefulness of filters in long exposure photography.

  • Lomo'Instant Wide for Full-Length Wonders Rumble Winners

    written by lomography on 2016-02-09 in #people
    Lomo'Instant Wide for Full-Length Wonders Rumble Winners

    Here's why the Lomo'Instant Wide should be your new photography buddy.

  • Nordic Pop: Highasakite

    written by Lomography NYC on 2016-02-09 in #people #lomoamigos
    Nordic Pop: Highasakite

    Straight from Norway comes this pop band with a full hand of Fisheye and Sardina photos. Highasakite released its debut album in 2012 and have been hitting the album charts and playing all over the world since then.