7 / 2010

Afghanistan - Wooden stilted sandals with hemp thongs - Late 19th C

The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a crossroads between the East and the West, and has been an ancient focal point of trade and migration as it has an important geostrategic location, connecting South and Central Asia and The Middle East. The population of Afghanistan is divided into a wide variety of ethnic groups such as Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, Nuristani and Baloch. They are over 99% Muslims. Before praying Muslims go through a routine washing procedure, calles "Wudu" cleansing themselves in preparation for prayer. On entering a mosque, they remove their shoes and in Afghanistan these are replaced with above stilted wooden sandals called "Kharawan" for this wudu washing ritual.

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