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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.