Stilts have a very practical history. Villagers near rivers used them to avoid flooding banks, Villagers in hot climates used them to avoid the hot ground, French Shepherds used them to help watch over their sheep and avoid marshy land, and then there are the Orchard workers, lamp lighters, plasterers, painters…even in Ancient Rome stiltwalkers danced for the Gods. Although still used by some painters and plasterers, stilts are mostly used today to entertain the crowds in Circus performances, Carnivals and Fairs around the world.

(and they do come in handy for cleaning those gutters )


In 1891 Sylvain Dornon – a Shepherd from Les Landes (lay lornda) went for a walk on his stilts from Paris , or rather a stride – 58 days later and nearly 3000 kms later – he reached Russia!

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