Pair of anthropomorphic stilt steps which would have been attached to stilt poles at a high of 50 cm with coconut fibre cordage. Stilts such as these tapuvae were used both for recreation and also for competitive racing across the stone pavements of marae ritual precincts during certain ceremonies. The steps are carved from Cassurina wood and the finished carving has been decorated all over with fine parallel lines that mimic the extensive tattooing which covered the bodies of Marquesan men. Each of the steps bears a number of decorative motifs on the cheeks which are different for each step and which again allude to the unique individual tattooing on every man’s face.
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