Customs

The Most Durable Footwear in the Andes

My First Dance Steps (Walter Coraza Morveli)

Since time immemorial, footwear was a fundamental resource to cover different needs throughout world history. Over the years, it has evolved not only to meet priority needs but as fashion and to satisfy people’s ego.

In the Andes there is a shoe called “ojotas”, which is traditional and well known. This type of footwear was invented due to the excessive use of rubber, that is to say the excessive use of tires. With this material and a little creativity, the ojota sandals were invented, a long-lasting and low-cost footwear.

In the jubilee fiesta of the city of Cusco, long parades of typical dances of the whole region are made and the ojotas are a fundamental part of the traditional costumes. From the youngest to the adults people use this badge to represent the different regional dances.

Dancing in Cuzco Today
Dancing in Cuzco Today

Previously this footwear was worn by a large part of the high Andean villagers. With modernity and fashion, these sandals were highly criticized by the upper class, making clear the economic difference for the cost of these. Fewer and fewer people now wear ojotas because of this social and economic discrimination. They now place more emphasis on international footwear such as the Nike and Adidas brands.

Many commercials were carried out using the ideas of the ojotas. Today, these sandals are still used to work in agriculture, livestock and other activities especially for their long duration when in contact with heavy work.

Visitors from other countries also want to wear flip ojotss because of the tradition that exists in the Andes of Peru. The use of these sandals is a solution to pollution due to the excessive use of rubber tires and in the city of Cusco. In its fiestas, they are given the necessary value as part o four culture.

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