Skip to main content



Modern term for the ancient Persian science of divination through the study of feet, similar to the study of hands in palm-istry. An official cartopedist was employed by the rulers of ancient Persia and India, to be consulted on such important matters as the choice of a bride. Measurements and footprints were studied intensively, sometimes over a period of weeks, before interpretations were made. The size of the foot, the shape of the heel and toes, and the degree of arch were all considered, as well as the lines or markings on the foot itself. Together they were believed to indicate character, ability, and destiny. Cartopedy was also widely used in ancient Arabia.

Cartopedy is still practiced in India and Pakistan in conjunction with palmistry. Cartopedists are consulted by parents to assess the characteristics of potential brides or husbands for their children, and some employers engage them in hiring staff. In crime detection the police use the services of payyindas, or foot trackers, who can assess the characteristics of a wanted man from his footprints.


Fahl, Toufic. La divination arabe. Paris: Sinbad, 1987.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Cartopedy." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . 19 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Cartopedy." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . (April 19, 2019).

"Cartopedy." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved April 19, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.