Pair of woven palm frond open shoes - ROM2017_15946_12


Pair of woven palm frond open shoes

Medium:Palm frond and fibre, plaited and stitched
Geography: Undetermined site, Upper Egypt
Date: c. 664-332 BC
Period: 26th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
9 x 26 x 8.2 cm
Object number: 906.6.13.A
Credit Line: Gift of Theodore M. Davis
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

Prior to the Late and Ptolemaic Periods, the Egyptians wore sandals with a sole and a y-shaped thong that ran between the first and second toe. The sandal with the upturned toe is an innovation of the Ramesside Period. On this piece the sides of the foot are covered, making it a shoe; since the top of the foot is uncovered, this an open shoe. This example is dated to the Late Period because of the upper formed by a vertical piece of double plaited fibre stitched to the sole. The binding of the sole continues past the toe to form a double cord which joins the heel and toe straps. The sole of this piece has two layers of diagonal plaiting. According to the ancient Egyptian sense of decorum, sandals would be removed in the presence of a superior and sandal-bearers are known as far back as a representation on the Narmer Palette c. 3100 BC.


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