These boots were made by the Uzbek people in northern Afghanistan. The method in which they are crafted stems from the long Central-Asian tradition of making silk-embroidered leather footwear, horse covers and bags. They are worn both indoors and outdoors. In bad weather, they are usually slipped inside heavy leather overshoes.

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How do these boots contrast with how Afghanistan is portrayed in the media?

responded: Jan 17, 2012

Posted by Emma Thompson

Recommend this Response
These boots are unlike anything I have ever seen in the media coverage of Afghanistan and quickly reminded me how much the media can seriously skew our interpretations of other cultures. The main Afghani fashions that I am familiar with are mainly that of men and include loose fitting, light, muted colour fabrics of salwar kameezs, and turbans. These boots are decorated with vibrant colours, interesting textures, and patterns, which did not cause me to think of Afghanistan as the country of origin. Anytime I have been interested in Afghanistan has been with respect to the war there, not their fashion or clothing styles. It’s unfortunate that Westerners find the majority of the cultural education on Afghanistan or even other countries in the Middle East by way of news reports since September 11. Although it is not the responsibility of the media to provide the viewer with a well-rounded synopsis of a country I would say that many, myself included, often rely on news headlines as their main source of information and never research any further. I think it’s also safe to say that the media coverage whether news reports, films, or television shows involving Afghanistan are all of a negative nature and focus on military action or devastation. This is where the contrast lies for me. When I hear reports of how many people died because of a suicide bomber the last thing I am considering is what they had on their feet. These boots seem luxurious and like they are part of a rich cultural tradition, things that I do not associate with Afghanistan based on what has been in the news since 2001. They remind us that Afghanistan is more than a war torn country, it is a place rich in culture, traditions, and religion. The veil of war and death that Afghanistan is currently seen through has been lifted for me by these boots.

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