Kite Enthusiast Celebrates His Native Jamaica


Kaziah Hall makes a kite that honors his Jamaican heritage for the 44th annual Smithsonian Kite Festival on the National Mall on March 27. Photo by Mario Ivan Oña, director, The Washington Post Young Journalists Development Program

By Deena Lee

UJW Staff

WASHINGTON — Kaziah Hall has been a self-described kite addict since he was a child.

Born in Jamaica, he used to build kites using rudimentary materials such as pre-printed paper, glue and bamboo. 

But when Hall came to the United States 18 years ago, he found better opportunities and better materials for his creations.

Now he uses nylon and other advanced materials for his one-of-a-kind kites.

One of them was on display one Saturday at the 44th Smithsonian Kite Festival on the National Mall.

Hall’s creation this year was a 9-foot-by 8-foot kite featuring all the green, yellow and black colors of the Jamaican flag. It also included Jamaica’s national slogan, written in black: “Out of many, one people.”

“Kite flying is a release of creative energy,” Hall, 45, said. “I get inspirations from nature, people, places and events.”

Hall, who lives in Virginia, has participated in the Smithsonian Kite Festival for six years. 

He said he prepared this year’s kite to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence.

“This kite means a lot to me. It is Jamaica’s coat of arms,” said Hall, the head of the West Indian American Kite Association.

Donned in a colorful shirt and hat, he practiced flying the kite Saturday on the mall. He said he planned to compete against 50 other participants in the Master Kitemaker Competition. 

He and the other competitors were judged on their kites’ visual appeal in the sky, balance in stability, motion and craftsmanship.

“His favorite kite is always the latest one he makes,” said Hall’s wife, Janet. “Every kite is the most phenomenal.”


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