Opanaks and OpancisPosted: February 23, 2012
With the sole of a Moccasin and the upper of a Huarache, the Opanak is a traditional woven shoe from the Balkan regions.
The Wikipedia entry says this about the Opanak :-
Opanak (Serbo-Croatian language: Opanak, pl. Opanci/Opanke, Serbian Cyrillic language: Опанак, pl. опанци/опанкe, Macedonian language: Опинок, pl. опинци, opinci, Bulgarian language: pl. опинци, opintsi are traditional peasant shoes worn in Southeastern Europe (Balkans: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria).
The attributes of the Opanci are: a construction of Leather, lack of laces, durable and various ending on toes. In Serbia, the design of the horn-like ending on toes indicates the region of origin. The concept, and the word, exists in Romania (as opincă) which is borrowed from Slavic. Opanaks are considered the traditional peasant footwear for people in the Balkan region.
Until 50 years ago, they were usually worn in rural areas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia. Nowadays, they are only used in folk costume, for folkloric dance ensembles, festivals, feast days or other cultural events.
Travel to the Balkans to buy a pair, or get them on the web through www.etsy.com.
Photo above on left by Patrick Horton from www.lonelyplanetimages.com. The moccasin in the top photo is made by The Arrow Moccasin Company in Hudson, Massachusetts, which crafts a highly recommended ‘Double Sole’ Moccasin.