Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Whose Shoes? Shoe Facts from Around the World

Shoes Around the World Fact
This is page 26 from the one book activity guide.

If you like these facts, check out this web rersource: All About Shoes

Snowshoes (southeast Canada) were invented thousands of years ago, probably in central Asia, but most snowshoes today are based on the design of the Algonquin peoples, who lived in Northeast North America. They help spread the wearer’s weight so that they don’t sink into deep snow, a must for getting around in places with very snowy winters.

Kamiks (arctic North America) are warm boots made with animal skins. They incorporate the animal’s own cold-weather adaptations—the warm fur of caribou, the waterproof skin of seals—into boots to protect human feet.

Babouches (Morocco, also Middle East) are found Muslim countries, where people pray five times of day on their knees with their shoes off. They need shoes that are easy to take on and off. Babouches are slippers that don’t have a back part over the heel, so slipping them off and on is quick and easy.

Klompen (Netherlands) are chunky wooden clogs that slip on. These are work-boots: the wood protects the foot from getting too cold, wet, or muddy in the marshy Dutch landscape. They also protect the feet from getting stabbed by sharp tools. Clogs are fun, too—they make their own rhythm for dancing!

Lapti (bast shoes from Russia) are made of woven birch bark and worn with thick socks. Synonymous with poor peasants who wore them because they had no better materials (they would wear out fast worn outdoors!), but as slippers they are good for air circulation and have anti-fungal properties.

Paduka (India) are sandals shaped like the sole of the foot, with a knob held between the big toe and the other toes, and two very narrow stilts at either end of the soles. This way, taking a step disturbs the ground (and any plants or bugs living there) as little as possible. They are worn traditionally by religious people, and by others people at special occasions such as weddings.

Tageta (Japan) are wide wooden sandals designed to keep rice farmers from sinking into the mud of the boggy rice patties. Like snowshoes, they help spread they wearer’s weight.

Information from: www.allaboutshoes.ca/en/index.php and “Shoes, Shoes, Shoes by Ann Morris, 1995

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