Sunday, November 8, 2009

More Stilts

In the original clipping, the caption under this image reads:

The Tchankats [tchanguès] are shepherds of Landes, in France, a race who passed their lives on stilts, crossing rivers and forests full of venomous snakes without danger. They have now almost died out, and Sylvain Dornon, whose portrait we give, is one of the last of the tribe. He made himself notorious by walking from his native village to Paris on his stilts, and even ascending the Eiffel Tower on those wooden supports. Thence he set off to walk to Moscow and back on stilts. The Tchankats carry a pole, but which they elevate themselves on their stilts, and which makes a sort of third leg when they wish to rest. Our second picture shows the preparations for a stilt race at Sylvain Dornon's native village of Arcachon. They not only run at full speed on their stilts, but wind up the day by dancing quadrilles upon them.

--publication unknown, 1893

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