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Sandals

Sandals

Sandals are simple footwear composed of a sole that is held onto the foot by straps. Though the ancient Greeks did not invent the style, they did create many types of leather sandals, developing shoemaking into a skilled art and introducing a wide variety of footwear styles for all classes of men and women. By 500 b.c.e. the average Greek citizen could tell much about the people that passed in the street by the style of sandals they wore.

Early Greek sandals were made from a stiff leather or wooden sole to which leather straps were attached. These straps usually went between the wearer's big toe and second toe and around the back of the ankle to hold the sole firmly to the bottom of the foot. Much of the individual design of these sandals was created by the different ways the leather straps wrapped around the foot and ankle. Wealthy people wore soft leather sandals, sometimes dyed in various colors. The very wealthy sometimes even had gilded sandals, or sandals painted gold, in which the leather was covered with real gold. Some high officials and stage actors wore sandals called buskins, with tall soles made of cork, which made them appear taller. Some shoemakers carved designs or placed nails in the soles of their sandals in various patterns, so that the footprints of the wearer left a distinctive mark. One pair of ancient Greek sandals has been found that left the words "Follow me," written in every footprint, and many experts believe that the shoes must have belonged to a prostitute. Workers wore heavy-duty sandals, such as the thick leather crepida, which were made with an extra-large sole and wrapped around to protect the sides of the foot, then laced up the top.

Shoemakers became respected citizens in the Greece of the fourth and fifth centuries b.c.e., and their craft was believed to be watched over by the god Apollogod of the sun, music, poetry, and healing, among others. Sandals themselves were sometimes given magical powers in the myths of the time. Though the gods and goddesses were often pictured barefoot, Hermes and Iris, the messengers of the gods, were always pictured in winged sandals, and goddesses such as Hera, the queen of the gods, and Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, were often depicted in golden sandals.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Kippen, Cameron. "The History of Footwear: Sandals." Curtin University of Technology Department of Podiatry. http://podiatry.curtin.edu.au/sandal.html (accessed on July 11, 2003).

Laver, James. Costume and Fashion: A Concise History. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2002.

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"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sandals-1

"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sandals-1

Sandals

Sandals

One of the very earliest hieroglyphs, or picture stories of ancient Egypt found preserved in tombs, shows a sandal maker accompanying King Menes, the Egyptian ruler who united Upper and Lower Egypt in about 3100 b.c.e. Despite this evidence, most hieroglyphs show that Egyptians during the Old Kingdom period (c. 2700c. 2000 b.c.e.) and the Middle Kingdom period (c. 2000c. 1500 b.c.e.) went barefoot. Beginning in the New Kingdom period (c. 1500c. 750 b.c.e.), however, sandals became the favored form of footwear. Sandals protected the feet from the hot desert sand, but their open tops allowed the feet to stay cool. They were certainly worn by nobles and pharaohs, high officials and kings and queens, though working people may still have gone barefoot.

The sandals worn by ancient Egyptians were very simple. They had a base that was made of wood, goatskin, or fibers from palm trees or the papyrus plant. They were held to the foot by simple straps, one of which crossed the arch of the foot and the other that went from the arch strap between the big toe and the second toe. Many of the sandals that have been discovered come to a point in front of the toes.

More elaborate sandals have been discovered in the tombs of some of the pharaohs. The tomb of King Tutankhamen, who ruled briefly in the fourteenth century b.c.e. and whose tomb was discovered in 1922, contained several pairs of sandals, including a jeweled pair and a pair with soles that were imprinted with images of his enemies. The images were meant to convey that when King Tutankhamen walked on these sandals he crushed his enemies underfoot.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Cosgrave, Bronwyn. The Complete History of Costume and Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to the Present Day. New York: Checkmark Books, 2000.

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

[See also Volume 1, Ancient Egypt: Unraveling the Mystery of Hieroglyphs box on p. 18 ]

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"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sandals

"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sandals

Zori

Zori

Zori are sandals similar to what are known as flip-flops in the West. They are the most ancient form of footwear in Japan. Flat straw sandals with a thong held between the toes were already being worn in the Heian period (7941185). Today zori are often made of lacquered lightweight wood, plastic, or rubber, and the thongs are made of cotton or velvet.

Zori are worn over tabis, which are cotton socks designed to accommodate the thong by having the big toe in a separate compartment. The zori can be easily slipped off before entering the house, with its woven floors, in keeping with the Japanese tradition of removing footwear.

During World War II (193945), American soldiers fighting in the Orient were told that they could tell the difference between Korean people who spoke Japanese and native Japanese by looking at the feet: the native Japanese person would have a larger space between the first two toes, for the zori worn from a young age have a marked effect on the foot, pushing the big toe and the toe next to it farther apart.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Japanese Costume Through the Ages. Tokyo, Japan: Tokyo National Museum, 1962.

Kennedy, Alan. Japanese Costume: History and Tradition. New York: Rizzoli, 1990.

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"Zori." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Zori." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zori

"Zori." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/zori

Sandals

Sandals

While the men living in the Sumerian (30002000 b.c.e.), the Akkadian (23502218 b.c.e.), and the Babylonian (18941595 b.c.e.) empires of Mesopotamia, the region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in present-day Iraq, went barefoot all the time, Assyrian men began to wear sandals for everyday use around 911 b.c.e. Showing these changes are sculptures and bas-reliefs, or wall carvings, from the time period depicting men with foot coverings. The evidence suggests that all men went barefoot while worshipping and some men continued to go barefoot all the time. Some, however, began to wear protective sandals for everyday use, especially those living in the more mountainous areas, and some wore boots while fighting wars or hunting.

No Assyrian sandals have survived, but the remaining pictures and sculptures show that they had a wedge heel, a heel covering, and were held to the foot with straps and a toe ring. These sandals were probably made out of leather or strong grasses called reeds and are the earliest foot coverings in Mesopotamia.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Payne, Blanche, Geitel Winakor, and Jane Farrell-Beck. The History of Costume. 2nd ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.

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"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. 26 Jul. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 26, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sandals-0

"Sandals." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear through the Ages. . Retrieved July 26, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/fashion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/sandals-0