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Boots featuring multiple folds at ankle height, which is a characteristic feature of women’s shoes made in the village of Mników near Kraków at the turn of the 19th and 20th century.

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According to researchers, Kraków folk costume took its final shape at the end of the 18th century. For many decades it had undergone modifications which were dependent on both the wealth of the people and the areas they inhabited. The affluence of the landlord or lady was indicated not only by the colour, type of material and the cut of the garments they wore, but also by the footwear worn by them. Due to their high price, shoes were only worn in the colder seasons or on special occasions, for example to go to church or town. In day-to-day life, people usually walked barefoot. On special occasions, more affluent ladies put on long black leather boots, reinforced with metal heel plates, sometimes backstitched and folded multiple times at the ankle. Over time, women’s boots were replaced by laced or buttoned ankle boots and low-top shoes.
The women’s boots presented here, the so-called Mników Shoes, were made of black-dyed leather; the upper was finished with a stripe of red Morocco leather. The uppers and soles were decorated with backstitching, i.e. a single stitch creating geometrical and floral patterns. Boots with multiple folds at ankle height, which is a characteristic feature of women’s footwear, were made in the village of Mników near Kraków at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. The outsoles were made of leather sole fastened with tiny wooden pins.

Elaborated by Piotr Bujakiewicz (Museum — Vistula Ethnographic Park in Wygiełzów and Lipowiec Castle), © all rights reserved

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Women’s shoes from Mników

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