Volantin, arte en papel durante las fiestas patrias en Chile

Volantin, art on paper during the national holidays in Chile

For decades, kites have filled the skies of our country with color, especially as representatives of the fact that spring and September 18 are approaching . And although their presence seems to be receding , there are still artisans who dedicate time and affection to the craft of making kites.

The volantin Chilean version of the comet is part of the soul and identity of Chile, where flying these is considered a traditional game called volantinismo.

Normally a volantin has a square structure and is made of colored tissue paper. It uses a thread that is joined to three others that are tied to the coligüe rods in the shape of an inverted tripod. It may have a tail to make it more stable; However, in larger versions (turkeys) it is not added. It may also have fringes on the sides and earrings (smaller tails) on each side, which can be useful when it is unbalanced. The craft of creating kites is meticulous, precise and creative, since it is practically illustrating with colored papers in the air.

Among the traditional games with kites is casting commissions , which are aerial battles between kites, usually armed with cured thread . Due to the accidents caused by this type of thread with abrasives, its use is prohibited in Chile.​

Colors, patience and art

Esteban Oyarzún has been professionally dedicated to kiting for 25 years. “Since I was little I liked to elevate. At 9 in the morning I was already outside my house with a kite,” says the artist, who thanks to his creations has been able to live in the middle of the pandemic.

“In these two years the purchase of kites grew. Being at home so much led many people to become interested in them again,” he says. And the spring season (including National Holidays) is the most intense. “I make about 100,000 and 120,000 each season. I am manufacturing almost all year round,” he adds. “I start at 7 in the morning and stay until after 12 at night.”

“There is a lot of time, dedication, love, and patience that one puts into this art, because for me it is an art. It's a shame that some don't see it that way. But there is a lot of creativity behind it, in addition to meticulous, detailed work. It's like painting on fabric, but gluing pieces of paper together."

Volantin, art on paper during the national holidays in Chile

Volantin, art on paper during the national holidays in Chile

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