11 / 2010

Bangladesh - Man's Fish shaped toe knob sandal "Paduka" - Late 19th C

The People's Republic of Bangladesh straddles the fertile Ganges-Brahmaputra Delta in South Asia. The sari made from exquisite Jamdani muslin is by far the most widely worn dress by Bangladeshi women. The salwar kameez is also quite popular. Men wear the kurta-paejama combination, often on religious occasions, and the lungi, a kind of long skirt, Paduka, also known as the khadaun, kharawan, and karom - is the simplest type of Indian foot protection. It is little more than a sole with a post and knob, which is engaged between the big and second toe. For over five thousand years padukas have afforded ritual protection to holy men and gurus, and have been used by others for special religious ceremonies. Above one is made of one piece wood with brass inlays. The lotus flower toe knob turns from bud to blossom as each triggers a mechanism in the sole.

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