Stilt Step (Tapuvae)
Arts of the Pacific Islands
An important aspect of male competition in the Marquesas Islands, stilt games were either group races or individual competitions in which one opponent attempted to knock the stilts out from under his rival. Oral traditions record that some performers were so skilled that they were able to turn somersaults as they tested their athletic ability. During certain religious events, however, stilt demonstrations also measured a man's spiritual strength. Stilts were composed of a step attached with ornamental lashings to a shaft between five and seven feet long.
late 18th century
15 x 2 5/8 x 4 5/8 in. (38.1 x 6.7 x 11.7 cm) (show scale)
This item is not on view
Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license
. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.
Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact email@example.com
Marquesan. Stilt Step (Tapuvae), late 18th century. Wood, 15 x 2 5/8 x 4 5/8 in. (38.1 x 6.7 x 11.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Arturo and Paul Peralta-Ramos, 56.6.106. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 56.6.106_SL1.jpg)
overall, 56.6.106_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Carved wooden stilt step; upper tiki carved with arms and legs; lower carved upside down, back view, surface incised with parallel lines forming large diamonds
Condition: bottom broken off, scratched
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.