Fakir's sandal, wooden with iron spikes through sole and wooden toe peg, India, 1871-1920
This nail-studded sandal was one of a pair worn by a fakir – a Muslim or Hindu religious figure in India. He lived off donations and led a life of fasting, prayer and abstinence. The sandals are worn to show the power of the fakir’s spirit to conquer physical pain. Fakirs hope to achieve spiritual enlightenment by overcoming pain through years of practice.