10 / 2010

Nepal - Ladies "Pulla" shoe-crocheted upper with Kapulla grass soles - Mid 20th C

Vegetable fiber shoes can be found in the lower areas of the Himalayan Mountain range from Arunachal Pradesh in eastern India to Jammu and Kashmir in the North of Pakistan. The raw material is abundantly available in the form of different grasses, which flourish in a colder climate. It is therefor cheap and easy to harvest. Like straw footwear in other countries, dried vegetable fiber sandals and shoes insulate the foot against the cold an provide traction on slippery surfaces. Often combinations with animal fur are used to provide extra warmth in winter. The one above can be found in the Jammu and Kashmir region. The crocheted wool upper is attached to a braided kapulla grass sole.

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