Feet & Footwear In Indian Culture mapinpub

Feet & Footwear In Indian Culture

Jutta Jain-Neubauer

Innumerable references to the foot and to foot worship in Indian culture convey the impression that the foot is regarded as an important if not the most important part of the human body.

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The richness and variety of ancient and traditional footwear are lavishly illustrated, with outstanding examples of the typical toe-knob sandals worn by mendicants and holy men and the beautifully embroidered shoes of the wealthy. —The Asian Age

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Innumerable references to the foot and to foot worship in Indian culture convey the impression that the foot is regarded as an important if not the most important part of the human body.
The foot is usually the part of the body that is venerated; the feet of elders are worshipped by the younger generation; the feet of religious teachers and holy men by their followers; the feet of idols by their devotees; the feet of innocent persons by wrongdoers seeking forgiveness. There is also the romantic attachment towards the beloved’s foot. It was in this context that Indian miniature painting, drama and poetry referred to men treasuring the touch of the foot of their beloved. Until half a century ago, India was described as a barefoot country, since the ascetic Hindu, Buddhist and Jain sects were not generally permitted the worldly luxury of footwear.

The religious and historical significance of feet and footwear in Indian art and culture are presented in this book, which was inspired by The Bata Shoe Museum Foundation. The richness and variety of ancient and traditional footwear are lavishly illustrated, with outstanding examples of the typical toe-knob sandals worn by mendicants and holy men and the beautifully embroidered shoes of the wealthy. Rare information on footwear has been culled from lesser-known Buddhist
and Jain sources concerning the traditions and regulations governing the monastic life of monks.

As part of the research, the Foundation organized field trips to various parts of India to document the making of some of the most traditional footwear types created by village craftsmen. Patterns and decorative treatments were studied and photographed. Examples include the making of leather Chappals in Kohlapur; embroidered Juttis in Jodhpur, Indo-Tibetian felt boots
in Sikkim and vegetable fibre shoes in Ladakh.

Jutta Jain-Neubauer, born in Austria in 1951, studied Indology and Indian art history in Heidelberg and Bonn (Germany). She holds a Ph.D. in Indian art history with a thesis on “The Stepwells of Gujarat in art-historical perspective” (New Delhi, 1980). From 1978 to 1982 she was involved in a project related to the conservation of ancient monuments in Ahmedabad and other locations in Gujarat. Under a research project sponsored by the Feodor-Lynen programme of the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, she studied the relationship of ancient architectural texts (shilpashastras) with the structural form of temple architecture in Western India.

Her books include: The Stepwells of Gujarat in art-historical perspective (New Delhi, 1980), The Ramayana in Pahari Painting (Ahmedabad, 1981), Der Pfau in der Wüste (in German about costumes and textiles of the Thar Desert area, Stuttgart, 1992). She has written articles dealing with subjects such as wall paintings in Gujarat, Pahari miniature painting, woodcarving, narrative picture scrolls, and Indian textiles.

• Preface
• Introduction
• Part 1: The Foot in Indian Culture
• Part 2: Ancient Footwear and Types of Shoes
• Ancient Footwear and Types of Shoes:
• Traditional Hide, Leather, and Leather Workers in India
• Part 3: Traditional Indian Footwear in the Modern Period
• Map
• Photo Credits
ISBN 9788185822693
Pages 172
Number of illustrations 131 colour and 26 b/w
Size 9 x 11" (229 x 280 mm), hc
Date of Publishing 2000
Language(s) English
Co-publisher(s) Mapin in association with The Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto
Rights Available World rights

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