Either known as Paduka, Upanat, Varna-Krstna or Pagarkha, Panai and Pa-posh, footwear in Indian culture has been prevalent from ancient period among Indians. The earliest known surviving example of footwear from the Indian subcontinent is a sandal excavated from Chandraketugarh, West Bengal, circa 200 BC. Abul Fazal's Mughal chronicle Ain-i-Akbari talks about wearing sandals or shoes among he twelve things a man needs to complete his Shringara. Whether those are the Mughal shoes with low sides made of colour leather, pointed toe and low heels or the intricately embroided mojaris of the Rajputs, being beaten with a leather shoe is considered to be the worst form of punishment all over India, especially the case of a Mughal commander beaten by Dara Shikoh.
One of the rare surviving masterpieces is this 17th century Armored shoes from Golconda, India. Styled with Koftgari decoration, a technique in which the craftsman files the surface of the metal before hammering on gold leaf. It seems that these shoes were specially ordered by the patron in need of extra height or to better engage the stirrups when riding. I tried to compare it with paintings, but the closest I found was this cutie(swipe right). PS: People based in Canada must must visit Bata Shoe Museum Foundation. Whattay cool collection!
1. Armored shoes, second quarter of 17th century, Deccan, Golconda, India. Medium: Gilt steel(Koftgari). Private collection.
2. (Detail) The House of Bijapur, circa 1680 CE, Deccan, Bijapur, India. Attributed to Kamal Muhammad, Collection: The MET.
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