Friday, July 9, 2010

The Infamous Dutch Wooden Shoe

By De

Up until now, the history and purpose of the Dutch wooden shoe was just a mystery.  We had heard different theories and made our own assumptions.  BUT, this week I was lucky enough to visit a cheese farm where they harvested cheese, as well as carved the infamous wooden shoes.  Not only do the wooden shoes have one purpose, but many purposes!
The plain wooden shoe was traditionally used for farming or gardening

The yellow wooden shoe (the most widely known shoe) was traditionally used for working
The red wooden shoe was used as a dancing shoe
The blue and white wooden shoes were considered "Sunday best".  The white worn by females and the blue worn by males on Sundays.
And lastly, the crazy cow wooden shoes, typically used as an irresistible souvenir for many tourists that visit this establishment!
This is a quick video of the machine that is used to carve the inside of the shoe.  In the past, when the wooden shoes were cut and molded into their traditional shape, everything was done by hand and took hours upon hours to make just one shoe.  Now, they use machines like this one to produce the wooden shoes in just  matter of minutes!

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