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 29, 2012

Posted by Pankti Patel

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Seeing these bright coloured boots definitely opens my eyes and makes me realize how negatively the North-American media has effected the western perception of Afghanistan and its people. Unfortunately since the tragedy of 911 in 2001, the media has constantly associated Afghanis with terrorist attacks and bombings. With that event, Afghanistan has had a dark cloud hovering over their country in terms of the world’s opinion of their nation. Because all the news and media coverage since then has had nothing positive to say about the country or its people, most of North America has been persuaded into believing the country is nothing but a war-zone. I have always sympathized for the people of that country whose lives must have been destroyed by the war, but I can admit that I have never sat down to think about the culture and the ancient traditions that must have occurred before the war, and the fact that these traditions must have been affected or even destroyed since. Just by looking at these beautiful boots it is clear that Afghanistan is a country of rich history, culture, and traditions. The intricate details and the array of vivid colours used in different patterns and textures convey so much joy that it’s evident that these boots must have been part of a well-valued tradition. In contrast, all North-Americans have seen of Afghani fashions through the media is the men in dull, loose fitting salwar kameezs and turbans in sand colours, and the suppressed women in black hijabs or head-to-toe burkas with a screen to hide their eyes. The news has never shown the people of Afghanistan wearing anything remotely close to these boots, or in the patterns or colours these boots embrace. The cheerful colours and the elaborate and luxurious design of the boots are an obvious reflection of the country’s history, traditions, and culture. With that, it is unfortunate that the media has skewed our perception of Afghanis by portraying them as nothing more than military-oriented or violent individuals, because just by looking at these beautiful boots, it is evident that the people of this country have a much greater story to tell and have been wrongly conceived.

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