Understanding Socio-Cultural and Political Economy of Footwear Artisan from Medieval Period to Colonial Period

  • Surinder Verma PhD Research Scholar, Centre for the Study in Law and Governance, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
Keywords: Artisan, Footwear, Karkhana, Mughal, Labour.


Footwear is one of the important discoveries of mankind and it is an artisanal work which has given less importance over the years. In the light of less availability of material, Citing Elliot, Verse (2005) overviews that literature on footwear lacks historical and social context due to its low value (p. 89). Even the people who are engaged in footwear making particularly in India were not given importance and they often recognized as polluted and untouchables. In support of this statement Ilaiah (2009) pointed out that caste dominance had a negative inquisitive mind that looks Dalits’ footwear making business is a threat to their existence and dominance (p. 41). Even archaeological department does not give importance to footwear unlike other valuable historical artifacts (ibid, p. 89). Thus in the light of the above facts this research paper aim is to understand the socio-cultural and political aspect of footwear artisans from medieval period till pre-independence.


Ansari, S. N. 2008. Artisans and Craftsmen in Colonial Period in Northern India (1880-1940) (Master's thesis, Thesis / Dissertation ETD) (pp. V-223). Shodhganga. doi:http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/63621
Banga, I. 1991. The City in Indian History: Urban Demography, Society, and Politics. New Delhi: Manohar Publishers.
Bhattacharya, Sukumar. 1969. The East India Company and the Economy of Bengal from 1704 to 1740, Calcutta, pp. 177-178.
Chattopadhyaya, B. D. 1994. The Making of Early Medieval India. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Chandra, S. 2007. History of Medieval India:(800-1700). New Delhi: Orient Longman.
Chatterjee, A. C. 1908. Notes on the Industries of the United Provinces. F. Luker, superintendent, Government Press.
Dutt, R. C. 1902. The Economic History of India Under Early British Rule: From the Rise of the British Power in 1757, to the Accession of Queen Victoria in 1837 (Vol. 1). Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner.
Goyal, Y. 2016. Institutions in Informal Markets. EDLE - The European Doctorate in Law and Economics programme. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/93023
Guha, A., Raychaudhuri, T., & Habib, I. (Eds.). 1982. The Cambridge Economic History of India, volume 1: c. 1200–c. 1750. Hyderabad: Orient Longman.
Habib, I. 2011. Economic History of Medieval India, 1200-1500. Pearson Education India.
Habib, I. 2002. Essays in Indian history: Towards a marxist perception; with, the economic history of medieval India: A survey. Anthem Press.
Ilaiah, K. 2009. Post-Hindu India: a discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, socio-spiritual and scientific revolution. SAGE Publications India.
Jain-Neubauer, J. (Ed.). 2000. Feet & footwear in Indian culture. Toronto: The Bata Shoe Museum.
Ledgard, H 1922. The Hide, Skin and Leather Trades and Boot and Shoe Manufacturing in India', Journal of Indian Industries and Labour 1 (2).
Kumar, Dharma and Tapan Raychaudhuri. 1987. The Cambridge Economic history of India; vol I: c. 1200-c. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Moreland, W. H. 1920. India at the death of Akbar: An economic study. London: Macmillan and Company, limited.
Maddison, A. 1971. Class structure and economic growth: India and Pakistan since the Moghuls. Taylor & Francis.
Marx, K. 1967. Capital, Vol. 1-3. Moscow, Russia: Progress.
Roy, T. 1993. Artisans and industrialization: Indian weaving in the twentieth century. Oxford University Press.
Siddiqui, S. A. 2010. Handicraft Techniques and Artisans During 18th Century North India (Master's thesis, Aligarh Muslim University) (pp. Ii-172). Shodhganga. doi:http://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/55476.
Vanina, E. 2004. Urban crafts and craftsmen in medieval India: thirteenth-eighteenth centuries. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers.
Verma, H. C. 1986. Dynamics of urban life in pre-mughal India. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal.
Veres, M. 2005. Introduction to the Analysis of Archaeological Footwear. Australasian Historical Archaeology, 23, 89-96. Retrieved on July 10, 2016, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/29544538.