Melaka Traditional Arts and Crafts :: Nyonya Beaded Shoes
Beaded slippers also known as “kasut manek” are traditional must-have footwear for the Peranakan Cina women until world war II. In the old days, it was customary for young unmarried Nyonya to learn beadwork skill and make their own beaded shoes for the wedding dowry. The materials used include silk cloth, gold thread and multi coloured beads.
Nowadays the shoes are still worn by Nyonya during formal functions like in the weddings, and more ladies from outside Peranakan community buy the beaded shoes as a fashionable item due to its beautifully decorated designs.
The beaded slippers were either opened face (peep-toe) or covered face. The popular motifs used for the patterns were flowers, birds, butterflies, and fruits. These motifs, likely to appeal to the femininity of the Nyonya, had both European and Chinese influences.
The beaded pattern also adopted in the lady shoes.