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South Asian Footwear: History, Tradition, and Contemporary Trends

Jutta Jain-Neubauer

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. South Asia and Southeast Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

It was, and still is, a common practice to walk barefoot in rural India, a frequent form of adornment being anklets. Traditionally, shoes were worn for protection against severe climatic or topographic conditions. That the aristocracy may have developed a taste for footwear in the early centuries c.e. is evident from sculptural representations. It is conceivable that the various styles of footwear evolved through a fusion of indigenous traditions with Greco-Roman and Kushan influences. The use of

Footwear

Giorgio Riello

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. West Europe 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The importance of shoes in twenty-first-century Western society extends well beyond their functional use. Through their material appearance—their texture, weight, and design—shoes express abstract ideas that range from sexual appeal to allure, smartness, and informality. Shoes, therefore, are not just accessories that decorate the body or allow people to embrace the latest fashion; they convey messages that are understood across society. High heels stand for exaggerated femininity; red shoes for

Shoes and Shoemaking

Elizabeth Semmelhack

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. The United States and Canada 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Shoemaking in North America dates back to the establishment of the very first colonies. It was one of the trades that the Virginia Company hoped to establish in Jamestown, and one of the early investors in the Virginia Company was the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers, the shoemakers’ guild in London. The first mention of shoemakers, or cordwainers as they were known (a term derived from their work with Cordova leather) dates to 1610. Archaeological evidence from Jamestown suggests that the Engli

Shoemaking

Jonathan Walford

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

In the late sixteenth century, welted shoe construction became standard whereby the upper was sewn to a welt with a second row of stitches made through the welt into the outer sole. From this development until the introduction of machinery in the mid-nineteenth century there is very little change in the tools or methods used for shoemaking. And for hand shoemakers, changes in this tradition have been minimal. The tools to achieve this construction consisted of a knife, last, dogs, hammer, awl, an

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The Shtetl Shoe: How to Make a Shoe

Mayer Kirshenblatt and Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett

Source: Jews and Shoes 2008

Book chapter

Shoemaking proper consisted of two trades: the shister (cobbler) made the hard sole and assembled the shoe, and the kamashn-makher made the uppers from soft leather, the part that is called kholefkes in Yiddish. A third trade was the latacz (latutnik in Yiddish), which means ‘patcher’. He did repairs, replaced heels and patched leather footwear of all kinds. The kamashn-makher had the highest status and the latacz the lowest. I apprenticed to a kamashn-makher for a short time. I was very interest

Book chapter

Book chapter

Seen within the context of Hebrew drama in prestate Palestine, and in light of his own life story, I consider Sammy (Samuel) Gronemann (1875–1952) as a “cultural cobbler.” At the center of his play stands the “little guy” with all his flaws and aspirations, the flip side of the native Hebrew plays of the 1940s, which focused on national and land myths and often placed the Land of Israel as the hero of the drama, with plots demonstrating how to conquer the wilderness, drain the swampland, and make

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