Sandals: The most Israeli of objects

Tamar El Or has embarked on a journey to identify which object is most identified with Israeliness.

By TALIA LEVIN
July 12, 2018 19:20
4 minute read.
YOUNG WOMEN show off their fancy footwear in the 1960s

YOUNG WOMEN show off their fancy footwear in the 1960s. (photo credit: YAKI HALPERIN)

 
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‘What does being Israeli mean to you?” we love to ask people. One of the most common answers is: “chutzpah.” But when asked what the most Israeli object is, people usually need to stop and think for a moment before answering. Many will suggest the kova tembel (the multi-paneled dome-shaped cloth hat Israelis wore in the early days of the state), tank-top undershirts, khaki pants or biblical sandals.

Tamar El Or, anthropology professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is the author of the book Sandals – An Ethnography of Israeli Style, and the curator of the exhibition that bears the same name that opened last month at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv. El Or has embarked on a journey to identify which object is most identified with Israeliness.

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