3 / 2005

France - High pointed wooden bridal shoes - late 19th century

Out of the Bethmale Valley south of the city Saint Girons in the Ariege district comes this high pointed bridal wooden shoe. They go back as long as the 9th century when local villagers conquered a camp of Moorish invaders, who kidnapped the village women, and pricked the hearts of their enemy on the pointed tips of their clogs in celebration of their victory. The clogs were made in one piece of the trunks of walnut trees which formed a rectangle with its roots. Later the branches of a tree were pulled and warped in a special way to pre-shape the tree for making this type of clogs. Village men created the clogs for their future brides. It is said that the higher the point, the greater his love for her. A heart is still hobnailed on the upper.

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