Static haptic discrimination of the curvature of convex, concave, or straight 20-cm-long strips was investigated for nine placements on the hand. In one condition, the strips were touched with the palmar side of the hand, and in the other condition, with the dorsal side. The influence of the lengths of the strips, and thus of contact lengths, was also investigated. For all placements, discrimination was poorer in the dorsal than in the palmar condition, owing to poorer cutaneous resolution on the dorsal side of the hand (the kinesthetic stimulation was the same in both conditions). Thus cutaneous stimulation is important. In both experiments, performance appeared to depend primarily on contact length. Moreover, the discrimination thresholds for all different placements and contact lengths followed the same trend. We conclude that in these experiments the effective stimulus for the discrimination of curved strips is the total difference of local surface attitude - that is, the slope difference over the far ends of the stimulus.