7 / 2001

Ghana * Man's leather crocodile shaped sandal

Ghana is located at the southwest coast of Africa and has a shoreline of 535 kilometres. Until 1957 it was therefore called 'Gold Coast'. The very strong sea breakers threw up high sandbanks along the coastal area, which is over 50 kilometres wide, thereby creating many lagoons with mangrove and palm trees. The lagoons are the habitat of the crocodile, which the Ga people of the south fear as a fierce enemy. The above sandal is worn in this region. In old Egyptian times faces of enemies were painted on sandals, so people could step on them. Likewise, on magical protection statues the god Horus tramples crocodiles underfoot. Above sandal is shaped like a crocodile for the same obvious reason.

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