Afghan Fighters 

Afghan fighter kites are similar to the Indian Fighters in that they are made from tissue paper and bamboo. The biggest difference is that they are much larger than the typical Indian fighters. The wing span on an average Afghan fighter kite is 3.5 feet long, some even up to a 5 foot wing span, where most Indian kites run around 1.5 feet on the small kites to 2.5 feet on the large ones.
The Afghan kites are always flown on glass coated "cutting" line called Tar in the Afghan language. Most of the flyers make their own Tar, each with his own secret recipe of glue and ground glass. Because of the kite’s size, the line is usually 9 lbs or more, and they think nothing of using all 1000 ft. when fighting, sometimes they even tie on more line while they are flying.

 Rules in an Afghan fighter competition: THERE ARE NO RULES!
Everyone puts up his kite (this is strictly a Male dominated event), and the fighter usually has an assistant to help with the line and spool. There can be over 25 kites in the air at any given time, all fighting. These large kites have quite a pull to them when up in the air, but most of the fighting is done with Release cutting which requires alot of patience. The young kids on the ground have a great time trying to capture the cut kites, and can compile quite a collection by the end of the day.

Basir Beria, an Afghan Fighter Kite builder now living in Los Angeles, makes his own fighters and Tar. Basir’s background is in the fashion industry and he lived in Europe for several years before coming to the States. Of course he too has his own secret recipes for Tar and will occasionally color the mixture to produce purple, yellow, pink, orange, or green line. On the average it can take up to 7 hours to make a 1,000 feet of "cutting" line. Basir shaves his own bamboo and uses tissue paper for his kite skin, he decorates it with bright geometric shapes, or his specialty, Beautiful women with flowing hair and vivid eyes.

To see more of Basir's kite graphics, visit the CyberFighter Gallery


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Last Update Feb. 7, 2005.