Popular Science Monthly/Volume 50/March 1897/The Cliff-Dweller's Sandal
A STUDY IN COMPARATIVE TECHNOLOGY.
By OTIS T. MASON.
The geographical and chronological distribution of the sandal first named is most suggestive. So far as the National Museum collections teach, this form occurs throughout the Japanese area, but nowhere in Korea or China. By climate it is debarred from Manchuria, Mongolia, and all Siberia, and it is not seen in Tibet.
But both the Japanese type of sandal and the divided mitten-like sock occur again in Kashmir and countries westward and southward. Thence this sandal is found in southern Asia, and has walked all about the Mediterranean for thousands of years. It was the footgear of the Melanochroic Caucasian from very early times. The Mohammedans have scattered it here and there in Africa and thence wore it into Spain. The Latin peoples that conquered middle and South America introduced there for the first time in the history of the Western world this sandal with the single toe string.
Before that there were in America fur boots in arctic areas, buckskin moccasins down to the borders of the arid region, and thence southward the foot was protected by a sandal, not of raw-hide, for there was none in existence, but of fiber in various kinds of plaiting, and kept on the foot by lacing all round the border and by toe strings and toe loops inclosing toes No. 2 and 3. Fortunately, the meager collections from the cliff dwellings in the United States National Museum are abundantly supplemented by the materials in Cambridge and in the University of Pennsylvania. Through the courtesy of Prof. Putnam and Mr. Stewart Culin I am able to say that the ancient sandal of Arizona and New Mexico never had the single toe string between toes No. 1 and 2. The old types were either of rawhide slashed about the margin, or of fiber with loops about the margin, or of fiber with strip or loop inclosing toes 2 and 3. The examples shown in the plate are from the cliff dwellings of Arizona. Fig. 1 is in the basketry stitch of northern California, "twined work" on a warp of yucca twine in two layers; the weft of Apocynum is treated precisely like that of the Ute, Apache, California, and some mound-builder fabrics, by twining two filaments about the warp strands. Decorations are inserted by varying the color and the overlapping of the warp. The lacing is better shown in the next example.
Fig. 2 is of Yucca angustifolia fronds not shredded, but plaited diagonally in the manner most widely spread over the Western world. The lacing consists of toe loop, heel loop, and string. The last named commences on the instep and is looped about the toe loop, the heel loop on the right, over the instep and about the heel loop on the left, back to the starting point and knotted.Fig. 3 is of coarser yucca fiber shredded somewhat, and plaited more coarsely than Fig. 2. The lacing is on the same plan as in
Fig. 2, but the knots are all at the toe loop, and the entire lacing is in one piece.
Fig. 4 is quite different from the other three, and is practically woven on four coarse warp strands, by wickerwork, the thick ends of the leaves being left on top and shredded to form a soft bed for the foot. The toe loop is as in Fig. 2. Many sandals of eastern Asia are woven on the same plan, the long ends of the warp being left underneath next to the ground.