4 / 2001

Algeria * Berber camel-leather shoe with silk embroidery

The name Berber is derived from the Arab word Barbar, Latin - Barabarus, Greek - Barbaros, and was used in contempt for people who one could not understand because of their dialect. In appearance the Berber look Mediterranean, while their language belongs to the Afro-Asian group of languages. The shoe shown here is worn by Berber at the bottom of the Anti-Atlas mountain range bordering Morocco. The upper is turn-stitched to the midsole and then attached to the thick camel-leather outersole. Colourful silk is used for embroidery and decorative cords. The heelpart is raised sometimes up to 25 centimeters. This is done for a practical reason as snakes will preferably attack from the back.

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