Sunday, January 8, 2017

Traditional Kites

Kite flying is a popular traditional hobby in Malaysia and very much part of the culture too.

In Malaysia, layang layang is the generic term for kites in the Western and Southern regions of Peninsular Malaysia such as Selangor, Melaka and Johor. Kites from these states are generally divided into three categories - the fighting kite, the baby kite and the decorative kite.

Meanwhile, in the East Coast and Northern States of Peninsular Malaysia such as Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis, kite is known as wau - the name derived from the wau, wau, wau rhythmic pattern hummer sound of the kite when in flight.

Above stamp issue by Pos Malaysia features some of the most popular traditional kite of Malaysia - namely Wau Jala Budi, Wau Bulan and Wau Kucing.

Wau Jala Budi - The name is derived from a leaf found in Kedah called the "budi" leaf, as the tail of the wau is similar to the "budi" leaf. When flown, the kite produces a medium buzzing drone emitted from the hummer located at the head of the kite.

Wau Bulan - This kite is the most popular and most attractive in appearance. It is called Wau Bulan because of its crescent shape and tailpiece (bulan means crescent in Bahasa Malaysia). Given the right colour, Wau Bulan apparently resembles a rising crescent moon when flown.

Wau Kucing - The design of this kite resembles the cat (kucing means cat in Bahasa Malaysia), and is most apparent when seen from the back. The specialty of Wau Kucing is its hummer releasing a screeching, high-pitched sound, similar to the sound made by cats.


Date of Issue : 10 Oct 2005
Postmark : Kuala Lumpur
Denomination : 30 sen, 50 sen and RM1
Stamp Size : 40mm x 30mm
Paper : SPM Watermarked, Phosphor Coated
Printing Process : Lithography


Wau Bulan is one of Malaysia's national symbols. The reverse side of the 50 sen coin of Malaysia (the 1989 series) features an intricately decorated Wau Bulan with a hummer on top.

Meanwhile, the logo of Malaysia Airlines is based on the Wau Kucing.

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