Did you know

18 Apr 2023

Did you know? Tsangaropodines

Shoes were a rarity during the Ottoman and early British periods. Children certainly did not have shoes because as their feet grew so quickly, the parents could not afford to have shoes made for them every year. So, they went around barefoot.

Shoes were worn by the urban and well-off persons in the cities, whereas the villagers wore boots. The everyday boots used for work in the fields and mountains by shepherds and farmers were called tsangaropodines. The word consists of tsangaris=shoemaker and podines= boots. These were made to measure by the shoe-makers.

On the sole of the boots, the maker would put nails, for two reasons: first, so that the owner wearing the boot could have a better grip on the ground when he was climbing hills or uneven ground and secondly, so that the nails would wear away through time rather than the sole itself. The nails were then replaced. Platana is a metal having the shape of a horseshoe placed under the rear part of the tsangaropodines in order to protect it from wear and tear. The rest of the boot was made of pigskin and could fit either foot.

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

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