6 / 2002

Guatemala - Leather sandal with embossed braided upper

The sandal shown here is another fine example of men's ingenuity and creativity, when it comes to designing footwear with simple means. A rawhide sole is cut out in the shape of the foot. At the inside and outside, five small slits are made 6-7 mm form the edges. A piece of leather is cut out fitting to the size of the wearers' instep, together with a smaller piece for the heel. A very long narrow strip of leather is then braided through the instep- piece, sole and heelpiece as shown on the left. Holes are punched and leave motifs are hand-embossed for upper decoration. This type of sandals is worn by the Quiche- Indians in the highlands of Guatemala and basically has not changed for many centuries.

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