Saturday, May 24, 2008
Gaojiao: Chinese stilts
In Hunnan Province of China the Miao and Tujia people like to step high with a sport called 'gaojiao.' Walking on stilts started about the 14 - 15th centuries when ordinary people could not afford shoes they found crossing wet ground was very hazardous. Ingeniously they made short stilts from bamboo poles about 1-meter-high (3.3 feet) and strapped them to their legs. Eventually they developed games which people could play wearing their stilts. This is similar to the performance of 'stepping on high' in festivals of the Han People.