4 / 2005

Spain - Tripod stilted wooden clog "Zueco" - early 20th century

The moist and green, cattle breeding North Atlantic coastal area of north-western Spain, roughly between the cities of Santander and La Coruna is the most southern part of Europe where wooden shoes are worn. The are variously called: Zuecos, Madrenas or Albarcas, depending on the area. Some are made with interchangeable stilt-ends in wood or, as above , in rubber. The clogs are decorated by the "Zuequero" or clogmaker, with line or shell-shape carvings. Thereafter they are varnished black for men and white for women. In more remote areas they are smoked in a light brown colour and then decorated by gouging or notching.

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