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Science & The Supernatural: A Discussion of the World Around us - Based on Science with an Interest in the Supernatural ...
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 Post subject: Wayu footware---
PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 14:53 
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Grand Poobah
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At the northernmost tip of South America is a peninsula owned jointly by Venezuela and Colombia called La Guajira. This hot, desert-like region is inhabited by the Wayu, or Guajiro, Indians who lived there long before Europeans first weighed anchor off their coast in 1499. In the 450 years that followed, the Wayu have had many more visitors--some who stayed and others who didn't--and they excelled in assimilating foreign concepts as well as people, without giving up their own cultural identity.

This ability stems largely from the strong role their women play in the culture. By law, children belong to their mother and bear her family's (clan's) name. A woman's place in the Wayu community is aptly represented by these sandals with massive wool pompoms--the traditional formal footwear of Wayu women. That's because, as former curator Helmuth Fuchs noted, "balancing the 6-inch pompoms between the big and second toe, one cannot help but walk with slow straightforward steps, or, as the Guajiro say, 'walk with dignity as a woman should.'" This pair, collected by Fuchs in 1967, is on display in the ROM's Shreyas and Mina Ajmera Gallery of Africa, the Americas, and Asia-Pacific.

ARNI BROWNSTONE is assistant curator of Ethnology in the ROM's Department of World Cultures.


I can't find photos of the shoes... I'll try to update...

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 Post subject: Re: Wayu footware---
PostPosted: 03 Mar 2010, 23:11 
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