Friday, June 08, 2018

Traditional Indian Shoes

Traditional Indian sandals, called chappal remain the most widely used footwear in India. Chappals come in many designs and are both comfortable and long lasting and hence the reason for their longevity. Originally the sandals were made in Kohlapur in Maharashtra and are often known as kolhapuri chappals.

Shoe making in India dates back to the time of the Indus valley civilisation (circa 3000 BC) and the Indians had learned to tan leather early making sumptuous clothing including footwear. In the East the use of bronze was known to exist from 4500 BC and the Indian civilisation may well have influenced the Etruscans to use bronze (or later copper) tacks to attach the sole of the sandal to the upper. This is what was later used by the Romans as they militarised the sandal. Robust footwear took them further and hence the Roman Empire spread further than previous civilisations.

Other traditional Indian footwear include 'jhuttis' (jhootis or juttis) and 'mojhris'.

Mojhari is a man's closed shoe with an extended curled toe, while as jhuttis have flat fronts. In jhuttis, the rear is normally covered but mojharis have an open look from behind. These shoes were traditionally made in Jaipur and Jodhpur, cities of Rajasthan. Mojhris are heavily embroidered with gold and silver threads and decorated with precious gems and pearls. These are worn at weddings. These were considered as the royal ethnic footwear to go with traditional Indian dressing like sherwanis and churidar kurta (pyjamas). They come in a variety of colours and designs, and are normally hand crafted, made from buffalo, cow or camel leather soles, while the upper part comprises of leather or simply textile. Unlike chappals both parts of the shoe are joined together by a paste then stitched by white cotton threads. The flat soled shoes have no left right distinction. The shoes have become very popular with the glitterati and are worn by Bollywood stars and professional sportsmen.

(Video Courtesy: Jeevan here Youtube Channel)

Good source
Jain-Neubauer J (2006) Feet and Footwear in Indian Culture Mapin, ISBN 81-85822-69-7.

Reviewed 08/06/2018


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Rohit Siwal said...

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