(Last Updated on : 22/10/2010)
The footwear worn in Rajasthan is unique to this region. The footwear is called the juti, mojari or pagarkhi. They are the leather shoes worn by both men and women of all communities. These are mostly tight fitting and triangular at the front end though, in some rare cases, they may even be rounded. The people of the Mochi community have practised the traditional craft of making the juti for centuries and continue to do so even today. Other communities like the Regar and Bhambhi, prepare the leather, from which the juti is made.
The juti may be plain, but the more decorative footwear is decorated with heavy an-embroidery and, sometimes, little pom-poms as well. The ari-embroidery worked in chain stitch, is a common style of ornamentation. The tool used in this work is also called an ari. Brightly coloured threads of wool, silk and, sometimes, zari are used for this stitch, creating colourful and vibrant footwear. The quality and colour of leather employed is also quite varied. The footwear style, raw material and ornamentation may be unique, depending on the profession. For those engaged in outdoor work such as agriculture, jutis are made of tough leather with little decoration. Those who stay primarily indoors, women, for instance, use footwear made of soft light-coloured leather, richly embroidered in bright colours, with elaborate trimmings.
The juti is still a matter of necessity in rural Rajasthan though, in urbanised areas, it has gone the way of other traditional garments in the changeover to western attire. The juti, however, dominates as the most popular footwear and has a charm and grace of its own, much like the other traditional attire.
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