9 / 2002

Ecuador - Inca sandal with rawhide sole and Ilama woollen upper

Between 1438 and 1527 AD the Inca-Indian empire stretched from the northern parts of Ecuador to the Rio Maule river in Chile with Cuzco in Peru as its capital. The average people used sandals like the one shown above. A single piece of llama rawhide was cut to the size of the foot in a rectangular shape. Two slits were made at the heel part and then the four corners were turned straight up. Cords, braided of llama wool or pita-grass, were looped through holes in the upturned corner pieces and the sandal was ready. Wealthy Indians decorated their sandals with gold objects on the instep. The moccasin style was well known also, whereby the vegetable-fibre woven uppers were braided to the boat-shaped skin soles.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland