Wau bulan

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Wau bulan on display in Pasir Gudang Kite Museum, Johor. Wau bulan Pasir Gudang.JPG
Wau bulan on display in Pasir Gudang Kite Museum, Johor.

Wau bulan (Jawi: واو بولن) is an intricately designed Malaysian moon-kite (normally with floral motifs) that is traditionally flown by men in the Malaysian state of Kelantan. It is one of Malaysia's national symbols, some others being the kris and hibiscus. The reverse side of the fifty-cent coin of Malaysia (1989 series) features an intricately decorated wau bulan with a hummer on top. [1] The logo of Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is based on the wau kucing (cat kite).

Kite tethered aircraft

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Malaysia Federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species.

Kelantan State of Malaysia

Kelantan is a state of Malaysia. The capital and royal seat is Kota Bharu. The honorific of the state is Darul Naim. Kelantan is positioned in the north-east of Peninsular Malaysia. It is bordered by Narathiwat Province of Thailand to the north, Terengganu to the south-east, Perak to the west and Pahang to the south. To the north-east of Kelantan is the South China Sea.


There are many types of wau in Malaysia, each with its own specialty. Wau kucing (cat kite) and wau merak (peacock kite) are some of the variants.


Wau bulan got its name from the crescent moon-like shape of its lower section (bulan means "moon" in Bahasa Melayu Malaysia). Given the right colour, wau bulan apparently resembles a rising crescent moon when flown. [2]

The size of wau bulan is bigger than any other Malaysian traditional kite. The typical size is 2.5 meters in width and 3.5 meters in length. [3] This makes the decorations painted on the kite's body to be visible when it is flown high in the air. To make it more distinctive, wau bulan is normally decorated with large, strong-coloured patterns.

A wau-maker in his workshop. Design details in his wau are made by cutting various layers of coloured paper. The cutting is done spontaneously. Wau-maker cutting details into a wau.JPG
A wau-maker in his workshop. Design details in his wau are made by cutting various layers of coloured paper. The cutting is done spontaneously.
A wau-maker in his workshop. Design details in his wau are made by cutting various layers of coloured paper. The cutting is done spontaneously. 
Close-up of a design on a wau. Wau design close-up.JPG
Close-up of a design on a wau.
Close-up of a design on a wau. 
A wau-maker's workshop. Foreground: Wau frames. Background: A completed wau. Further background: The wau-maker. Finished wau and wau frame.JPG
A wau-maker's workshop. Foreground: Wau frames. Background: A completed wau. Further background: The wau-maker.
A wau-maker's workshop. Foreground: Wau frames. Background: A completed wau. Further background: The wau-maker. 
Example of other types of wau. They are differentiated by the shape of the bottom wing. Other types of wau.JPG
Example of other types of wau. They are differentiated by the shape of the bottom wing.
Example of other types of wau. They are differentiated by the shape of the bottom wing. 

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  1. FadulJ.(2009). Kites in History, in Teaching, and in Therapy. Lulu Press. ISBN   978-0-557-03771-1
  2. Kerja Khusus Sejarah PMR 2008 - Wau
  3. Types of Wau, myschoolnet.