Paduka sandals – India
Brass-Inlaid Wooden Paduka Sandals
length: 24.5cm, height: 9cm
This pair of padukas or toe-knob sandals of carved rosewood has slightly pointed toes and rounded heels decorated with petal motifs. They are inlaid with brass wire with petal motifs, double ogee shapes and scrolling borders. The platform elements, the top surfaces and the toe holders all are embellished with wire brass inlay.
Toe-knob sandals usually are associated in Indian culture with the sadhu, the Hindu holy man or ascetic who wanders from village to village. Such sandals represent footwear in its most basic form, stripped down and thus in accordance with the strictures of the life of an ascetic. This pair however is slightly more elaborate and perhaps were made for use in rituals perhaps as objects of veneration themselves.
A related example is illustrated in Jain-Neubauer (2000, p. 87).
UK art market
Jain-Neubauer, J., Feet & Footwear in Indian Culture, Bata Shoe Museum/Mapin, 2000.
Inventory no.: 1143
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