Friday, 16 August 2013

Asturias – The wooden clogs (madreñas)

 The climate here in Asturias is humid and often rainy making the roads and the fields wet and muddy. It was necessary to be able to carry on about your business and somebody came up with the idea of the madreñas. These are over shoes that you can slip your feet in with your normal shoes already on. On the sole there are bits that stick out so that you are raised further from the mud. Again, these are not limited to the principality but also can be found in Northern Spain and the mountainous areas.

They are made by madreñeros. Years ago there was a whole village in every county where all the neighbours dedicated their lives to make these shoes. You could easily place the origin of a pair of wooden shoe just by looking at the design and the décor that is often carved but sometimes painted. The design is usually different for men and women.

In the pub in Oviedo where the language exchange sessions are held (much better place than a library) there was a pair of madreñas. We didn’t know what they are so our new Spanish friends explained it to us. I could even try them on although they weren’t designed for flip-flops so I put them on without. Or rather, my Prince Charming helped me with it!

1 comment:

  1. Nice article (and nice legs, by the way).
    I would like you to know, and all your readers too that there is an online shop where you can buy authentic Asturian clogs with worldwide shipping.
    Called it is full of curious souvenirs of this beautiful land.
    Regards, Itchy Feet.