shoes, tuxen, harem, turkey, ethnography, mnoesgaard, museum, collections

In Other Shoes: Turkish Harem Shoes

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Middle East

Previously, ethnographica.net has showcased shoes from the wonderful shoe collection made by Søren L. Tuxen, zoologist and shoe enthusiast. You can read about him in our previous post here: https://ethnographica.net/2015/04/14/tuxen/

In his collection of almost 250 pairs are shoes and other footwear from all over the world; Moroccan slippers, Greek shepherd shoes, Mongolian boots, a Swiss wooden ice skate, Sioux moccasins, Afghan sandals, Dutch clogs… the list goes on and on and shows an amazing variety and craftsmanship.

We thought it was time to return to Tuxen’s shoes and show you more of his fabulous collection. Today we have selected what he called “Turkish Harem Shoes”. They are, in the photo, standing on a mirrored surface, so you can really see the details. Tuxen describes them thus:

Turkish harem shoes. Wood. Bought in an antiques shop in Saloniki (by the harbour) on the 16th of June 1955, in exchange for 200 Drachma. The woman in the shop could not read or write, not even numbers. They are inlaid with mother-of-pearl, decorated with gold, and very worn. I was told that they are Turkish harem shoes by Mrs. Henny Harald Hansen in 1955. We saw in Prileps that some women more such shoes in the street. Their Greek name is tsakari; usually used in the shower.”

…and like many women’s shoes, they are beautiful, but look pretty darn uncomfortable…

//Sophie Seebach

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