Traditional kite-making operation in Buxton boasts yearly growth

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Kite flying is a unique Easter activity locally and despite the advent of cheaper alternatives, one man is determined to ensure that the practice of traditional kite-making remains alive.

Marvin’s Kite Shop at Buxton Road Front, East Coast of Demerara.

As Guyanese prepare to celebrate Easter, Kite-maker, Marvin Cole of Buxton Village, East Coast of Demerara, has been making preparations since February 23. The Department of Public Information (DPI) visited ‘Marvin’s Kite Shop’ located at the junction of Church of God Road and Buxton Public Road, on March 27, to get a first-hand look at the operation.

Cole explained that the genesis of his enterprise stemmed from the fact that as a child he often felt removed from the Easter holiday activities because he never had “a proper kite” during Easter.

Cole said, “I started by taking book page; I went around some friends and see how they were doing it, and we started buying gift paper. Then, there was a guy who was the pastor for this church and he started cutting wood for us and we started a small operation and coming out on the road front to sell, from 100 to 200 to 300 till we reach 1000.”

He said his kite-making enterprise operates from February to April of each year. With the growth of his business over the years, Cole now sells more than 3,000 kites annually. Besides his local customers, who come from all across Guyana, the business is also patronised by overseas visitors.

Another positive offshoot of the operation is the creation of employment for youths in Buxton.

Owner of ‘Marvin’s Kite Shop’, Marvin Cole.

“We have several workers. We have the guy making the frames; another is putting on the tongue and the frill; one making the baller and one setting up the templates,” Cole said.

He explained that with the closure of schools for the Easter holiday, the youngsters in the community are naturally drawn to the business. “When they finish after Easter everybody looks for a little side piece in their pockets. I cannot let them come and help and don’t give them anything.”

According to Cole, with the passage of time, he has become more adept at fashioning kites. He explained that it usually takes him half an hour to make a regular kite, one hour to make a diamond-shaped kite and 40 minutes to create a box kite.

He further explained that the prices for his traditional kites are not prohibitive, as such, anyone can afford to make a purchase. The prices range between $800 for the smallest kite and $15,000 for the biggest which can measure up to 6 feet (1.8 centimetres).

Cole thanked his regular customers who have supported him over the years and said he looks forward to their continued patronage.

Some of the youths at Marvin’s Kite Shop.

Some of the kites at Marvin’s Kite Shop.

 

Box kites on exhibition at Marvin’s Kite Shop.

Some of the youths at Marvin’s Kite Shop.

 

Some of the kites at Marvin’s Kite Shop.

 

By: Crystal Stoll

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