10 / 1999

Philipines * Wooden sandal with open fretwork heel

The Philipines consist of more than 7000 small and big islands in the Pacific Ocean of which only about 400 are inhabited. The total surface area is about four times the size of the Benelux countries. Eighty percent of the population is of Malaysian origin. Arts and crafts are therefore very colourful and highly imaginative. As many other Asian countries, for centuries the Philipines were war-stricken. At the end of World War Two, many locals tried to make ends meet, by selling souvenirs to the American soldiers who were stationed there. Since materials were scarce, these souvenirs were made of scrap, like the uppers on above wooden sandals, while the heelpart was, all the way through, skillfully decorated with fretwork images of a village scene, a fish or a dragon.

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