Did you know

22 Aug 2023

Did you know? Hammmam shoes

During the Ottoman era, women wore special shoes in the hammam to protect their feet from the dirty water or soaps and from the slippery marble floors. The earlier form was called "nalins" and came to be artistic objects which indicated the wearer's social standing.

As domestic baths became more common, the rituals of the bathhouse declined and nalins were replaced with the simpler "takunya". A nalin was based on a wooden sole supported on wooden plates under the heel and ball of the foot, and carved from a single piece. A strap secured the nalin to the foot. The base was carved from hardwood such as plane, box, ebony, walnut or sandalwood. The base was then embellished with precious metals or inlaid with mother-of-pearl or tortoise shell. The takunya were much simpler and lower. They were also worn in the house not only in the bath and usually their decoration was pieces of mother of pearl embedded in the wood. Today, nalins and takunya have been replaced with clogs of any kind.

The ‘Did You Know’ series is made possible with the support of OPAP (Cyprus) and Active Citizens Fund.

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