Bedouin shoes from Oman
Mostly this website is about extreme shoes in design and art. But sometimes somebody brings me a shoe with a special story. This February my friend Ap Verheggen brought me a very special birthday gift. When he went to the Sultanate of Oman for his Sunglacier art and science project, he stayed at Bader Al Badri’s Sharqiya Sands Bedouincamp camp. Here he found out that from a long tradition Bader wears beautiful traditional nailbinded shoes to protect him from desert animals like scorpions, who are known for their venomous stings. Ap told Bader about my passion for shoes and then he took this pair of shoes back for me!
During research to find out more about these shoes I found similar shoes at the The National Museum of Oman and the British Museum in London. Bedouins used to wear these, thick socks made from goats hair, in the Empty Quarter desert to protect their feet from thorns, snakes and scorpions.
This is a fabric creation technique predating both knitting and crochet. Also known as ‘knotless knitting or single needle knitting’, the technique is distinct from crochet in that it involves passing the full length of the working thread through each loop, unlike crochet where the work is formed only of loops, never involving the free end. It also differs from knitting in that lengths must be pieced together during the process of nailbinding, rather than a continuous strand of yarn that can easily be pulled out.
Sharqiya Sands Bedouincamp
Bader Al Badri’s desert camp is located in the stunning Sharqiya (Wahiba) Sands. A 15 km 4WD ride from Al Wasil.
GPS: 22°23′21.26″N 58°42′36.76″E
The Sultanate of Oman is an Arab country on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula in Western Asia. The Arabian Peninsula is the original home of the Bedouin. From here they started to spread out to surrounding deserts, forced out by the lack of water and food. According to tradition, the Saudi Bedouin are descendants of two groups: the Yemenis, settled in the Southwestern Arabia, in the mountains of Yemen and the Qaysis, settled in North-Central Arabia.