Tattooed Stilt Walkers




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By Dan Beard

Fig. 78. 
Stilt Walkers, Marquesas Islanders

The first travelers who visited the Marquesas Islands found them peopled with a magnificent race, of which every Member was an athlete; an artistic race whose beautiful clothes lasted until death put an end to the wearer, for their costume was the skin with which the Creator covered their bodies-but which the islanders had beautifully decorated with tattooing, from the crowns of their heads to the tips of their toes. One of the chiefs, when measured, was found to stand six feet eight inches in his bare feet. 

They were great stilt-walkers, and went through performances which would excite the envy of any modern acrobat. They ran races, jumped and danced on their beautifully made and superbly decorated stilts, and thought it great fun to trip each other up.

In place of straps the block of the Marquesas stilt curves over so as to hold the foot. They used hand-stilts like those of the Western boys (Fig. 78).

See Also:

Giant Dance
Japanese Stilts
Shepherd Stilts
Stilt Tricks
Tattooed Stilt Walkers
Other Stilts

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.