8 / 2005

Uzbekistan - Four legged stilted wooden shoe - late 19th century

Wooden shoes of this type with three or four stilts can be found in most of the "Stan" countries of central Asia. The suffix "Stan" means nation or land. Uzbekistan thus meaning: "Land of the Uzbeks". Most of them are carved with a slight or full upturned toe-part. The plain ones are used for daily wear and working ni the field, however the ones for special occasions are also artfully carved and inlaid with pieces of mother of pearl or bone. Most stilts are fitted with metal studs, certainly the single or twin ones at the back. The studs provide a better grip on the surface when going up or down in mountainous areas. The clogs are carved straight with no distinction between left and right and therefore can be worn at either foot.

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