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  • Wooden clog with very long pointed and upturned toe, black leather vamp overlay nailed on with decorative motifs, metal instep strap with black leather strip in centre.
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This clog was carved from one piece of wood and is decorated with nails that form a heart pattern. Tradition suggested that the longer the point of the clogs, the more passionate the maker's feelings. Along with these clogs, a groom would also give his betrothed a red distaff and spindle.

Decorated wooden clog
Ariege, France, early 20th century
BSM P86.66

Small Stories

Bethmale, France

Bethmale, France is famous for its distinctive clogs, which feature tall spiky toes with heart shaped decorations. Traditionally, men in the region would hand-carve these clogs and then give them to their betrothed on Christmas Eve as a symbol of fidelity.

The origin of these clogs is told in a legend set at the time of the Moor invasions across the Pyrenees. The story tells of a pretty girl in Bethmale who, although already engaged, fell in love with the handsome son of the invading general. To punish her infidelity, her fiancÚ carved a pair of spear-like tipped clogs and led a revolt against the invaders. After much struggle, he and his men emerged triumphant. Pierced through the tips of his two clogs were the hearts of his betrothed and her lover.