Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Stilts are artificial leg extensions, long poles on which a stilter stands and walks or otherwise moves. In Europe, stilts were made for the purpose of crossing marshy or flooded areas, and both military and civilians used them. Footrests were many feet off the ground and the stilts fastened below the knees. The walker used a long pole for additional balance and to provide a tripod for resting. Chinese stilt walking dates to as early as the 7th century b.c.E. , when an entertainer named Lanzi entertained the first Song emperor by walking and running on sticks taller than himself and attached to his feet. A sword-carrying stilt walker is portrayed on a plaque from Benin, and ancient Mayan temple decorations portray stilt walkers. West Indian stilt walkers are known as moko jumbie or moko jumbi . The moko is an African god who from his Stilt ...