Type of item: Accessory
Style: Retro / Vintage, Classic, Romantic, Traditional
What was your inspiration?
The Peranakan people are descendants of an early Chinese community that settled in the Malay archipelago since the 17th century. Many were seafarers who traded between the ports of southern China and those of Southeast Asia. As Chinese women were by law not allowed to leave their native country until the middle of the 19th century, many of these early traders married non-Muslim natives of the Malay archipelago, such as Balinese or Batak slaves. The earliest Chinese Peranakan community can be found in Malacca.
Peranakan beaded slippers, also known as kasut manek, literally meaning shoe beads, is a type of shoe that dates back to the early twentieth century. It refers to beaded slippers worn by a nyonya (Peranakan woman) to complete her Sarong Kebaya outfit, together with chained brooches (kerongsang) and a silver belt (tali pinggan).
The slippers are made of size 13 or smaller charlotte beads (manek potong). Vintage kasut manek are intricate and finely stitched, a testimony to the fine workmanship of yesteryears. The intricacy and fine workmanship of a pair of beaded slipper is also a hallmark of highly accomplished Peranakan women whose skills in embroidery and beadwork are highly valued.
- Adapted from Wikipedia and The Peranakan Association of Singapore
It is from this rich culture of artistry, colour and love for detail, that I was influenced to embark on my first pair of kasut manek. From that first manek, my love affair with beads was sealed.
What are you most proud of?
This is the raison d'tre of my love affair with beads