I am elated with my discovery today – I was thumbing through my precious copy of Primitive Shoes by Margrethe Hald thinking, “wouldn’t it be wonderful if this book were available to everyone.”
I ordered mine from the National Museum of Denmark about twenty years ago and pick it up often to marvel at the brilliance of the minds that figured out so many unique and beautiful ways to cover their feet, and sometimes to attempt to duplicate their creations – the subtitle is: An Archaeological-Ethnological Study Based upon Shoe Finds from the Jutland Peninsula.
I copied this page to illustrate the marvelous patterns that were created, this one from Ireland, exacting down to that little strip at the toe.
I believe the book was published post- humously. Thank you, Margrethe Hald, for leaving such a gift behind.
She even left us with this message and poem:
..”there can be no double that it was a hard fate, and evidence of bitter poverty, to have no protection for one’s feet when conditions were bleak. This can be gathered from the medieval vision poems. In these, to give shoes to the shoeless is accounted a good deed of high merit, in return for which the giver is promised relief on the hard road to the other world.”
(quoted after Knut Liestol)
“Gone have I over Gjaller Bridge
with sharp hooks in a row.
Yet worse I thought the stinking marsh
God help those who there must go!”
“Blest is he who in this life
gave shoes to the needy poor.
He will not have to walk barefoot
on the sharp and thorny moor.”
So, I googled for the book – and found the entire book available at no charge at: http://vitezek.io.ua/album213075