Tuesday, September 04, 2012

More about shoes in rock piles

from Barry W:
Here is a pic of the latest shoe find. The laminated sole and heel were joined with tiny wooden pegs. It’s amazing that they’re still somewhat intact. Not native footgear for sure. As for good luck, in the time period that these shoes were used, one was lucky to even have shoes. Most kids didn’t get real shoes or boots around here until their later years. They didn’t go out much in winter. It was pretty rough living then, at least on hardscrabble Maine farms.
Note: all the subsumed shoes we’ve found have been quite small and some obviously womens’.


pwax said...

There are no easy to find references to shoes in rock piles, stone mounds, cairns, or whatever you choose to call them. Searching for "superstition" and "shoe" turns up no such thing in Google, just lots of mention of houses with concealed shoes.

Tim MacSweeney said...

I would suspect that these are very different looking stone mounds than those that I see around my 300 year old house, mounds that include turtle effigies of all sorts - that over the years have had all sorts of trash - including leather and rubber shoes - dumped on them rather un-ceremoniously. Where's the photos of the mounds - and is there a history of the house? I couldn't explain the outrageous mistakes of the 1850's carpenters until I identified all the 1850's Lily Drug Narcotics bottles. Perhaps we have located one fine example of that "crazy farmer" often alluded to who builds inexplicable stone constructions.

pwax said...

I am in favor of taking this as a superstitious act by the pile builder, increasing the likelihood that the pile had "superstitious" significance and context. Who does that for rock piles? Where are the examples from Europe?

pwax said...

I should go on to say that maybe we have a completely false picture of the typical New England resident in 1750: part European, mixed ethnicity, a healthy dose of Native American genetics and ideas. Who is to say what the superstitious thinking would have been back then?