The jutti is a shoe worn by men, women, and children throughout India. Most often made of leather from the hide of buffalo, camels, or cows, juttis can also have uppers, or the tops of the shoe, formed from other textiles. Juttis are heavily decorated with cotton, silk, or golden embroidery and sometimes wool pompons, or tufts of material. The jutti is identified by its pointed toe and flat, straight sole that does not distinguish between left or right foot. The shoe can have a closed or open heel, and there are many regional variations in toe style and decoration. Some regional styles are specially named. For example, Salim Shahi juttis, which have a curled toe point and a decoratively curved upper, are named after a Mogul prince of the 1600s.
The jutti evolved from a shoe style with a curled up pointed toe called mojari, worn by the wealthiest male citizens during the Mogul Empire in the early sixteenth century. From the tips of mojari, pendants, bells, and beads are often suspended. Mojari continue to be worn for weddings and other special occasions in India.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Jain-Neubauer, Jutta. Feet and Footwear in Indian Culture. Toronto, Canada: Bata Shoe Museum, 2000.