Stiltwalkers had all but disappeared from St Maarten by the late 1960′s. Certainly by the early 1970′s, just as the tourism boom got underway, the moko jumbie, along with traditional masqueraders, stick-fighting, quimbé, pump drum, the Ponum, and other public-display cultural art forms appeared to have died an inglorious death.

Now, about 40 years later, a literal younger generation of St. Martiners are raising this cultural giant back to life. In 2011, Tyrone Phelipa led a stout band of male and female moko jumbies, towering over the streets and fellow revelers for the largest of the nation’s two carnivals.