3 / 1998

Egyptian palm leave slipper * Iron Age * 1200 - 500 B.C.

Egyptian wall paintings show thong sandals with flat soles made of palm leaves or papyrus. This so-called "tatleb" initially was only worn by gods, pharaohs and other dignitaries, but later became common use. A footprint was made in wet sand to make the soles in the right size and shape. Straps were attached made of papyrus or untanned leather. Women decorated their slippers with various jewellery. These very practical slippers proved to be a perfect protection against rough terrain and burning hot sand. Pharaohs by that time had theirs made of solid gold. "Fashion" developed pointed or more squared shapes, upturned toe parts and braided sides.

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