The Ainu, indigenous people of the northern islands of Japan, wore snowshoes as an important part of their outdoor wear in winter, especially for hunting. Made of a special vine only found on the islands and bent to shape, the shoes are held together by rope and wire (note that one shoe has cloth cord replacing the rope on one side). Some designs, like this set, incorporate wood pegs for breaking thru hard snow and ice. One peg on each shoe is stamped “Hotai” plus Japanese characters. The darkened patina is quite attractive. Condition is excellent. These would be a wonderful addition to a collection of Japanese ‘mingei’, Ainu costume, or to a shoe collection.
Size: 14.5 x 8 x 4 inches & 14.75 x 7.75 x 4 inches
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