The Soul of the Biblical Sandal: On Anthropology and Style

Tamar El Or*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This article is about the measurements and qualities of local style. Archeological, linguistic, and historical data are brought together to move deep into the cultural analysis of an object known as the biblical sandal. The relationship between the object and its meaning, which is at the core of much of the literature on material culture (Appadurai 1986; Henare et al. 2007), is analyzed via the notion of style. Style fuels and limits changes in material culture (Boas 1927; Wilk 1995; Wobst 1999), and the biography of the biblical sandal demonstrates that. New technologies, trends, and desires profoundly affect the story, but only to the limits of a certain style that retains a specific ethic and esthetic. This article focuses on one producer (Nimrod Ltd.) and is part of a larger project on material culture and production of style in Israel.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)433-445
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Anthropologist
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Material culture
  • Sandals
  • Simplicity
  • Style


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