“Give the girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”.
The well-famous quote goes very well with girls of Punjab. To flaunt in beautiful stilettos, ballerinas or shoes can be anyone’s forte but to walk in style with beautiful Punjabi Jutti can only be done by a true Punjabi mutiyaar – (a synonym for girls of Punjab). So today we are dedicating this episode of the series of Amritsar 60 in presenting to you the cultural footwear of Punjab which is Punjabi Jutti.
An Urdu word for a shoe with a closed upper attached to a sole, Punjabi Jutti was a part of the royalty of the Kings for 400 years and is traditionally embroidered on leather in real gold or silver threads. From footwear of daily wear to weddings to religious occasions, to parties and festivals, this mojaris – (another name of Punjabi Jutti) provide an essential ethnic appeal to the person wearing them.
Being the Royal city, Rajasthan became the hub of Punjabi Jutti in the past. It was from here that Juttis was first patronized by the Mughals and was made extremely popular amongst the kings and the queens who belonged to the richest era of Indian history. These Juttis originated from the state of Rajasthan only in their peculiar designs embellished with various stones, fine gems, and pearls. Being originated from the city of royals, the style of Jutti back then was far more ornate and rich in texture and design. Embellished with various stones, fine gems, and pearls, they used to give a complete royal look. However, with the passage of time, this mojaris gained a lot of popularity in Punjab as well where it underwent various changes and forms and came with some amazing innovations.
The making of Jutti is a tedious process that goes from involving people from different communities from Chamaars – who process the raw material to Rangaars – who paint it and then the Mochis – who assemble the pieces together. Then these Juttis were brought to the markets for sale in showrooms and to various vendors.
Embroidery on Jutti involves the use of stencils, for cutting and tracing designs on to the leather parts of the shoes. They range from simple cut-out shapes to be filled with simple embroidery, to intricate punches, weaves, and embroidered designs.
One of the unique features of this handcrafted footwear is that it has no left or the right side distinction and can be worn on any foot of choice. Being worn by women of Punjab on any occasion, it is the most comfortable and stylish flat-soled footwear found by them. Its extensive embroidery contains the rich heritage of Punjab.
Hand-crafted with threads or beads, it also has slightly different variations particularly for men, which are known as Khussa or Mojri. People prefer wearing them on traditional occasions like weddings. Along with traditional dresses like sherwani or kurta Pajama, Juttis form the quintessential accessory. Available easily outside Hall Bazaar, one can shop for as many as they want and take back this rich souvenir of the land along.