Pair of fakir's sandals, India, 1871-1920
Studded with nails, these sandals were worn by a fakir, a Muslim or Hindu religious figure in India who lives solely off donations and leads a life of fasting, prayer and abstinence. The sandals are worn to show the power of the fakir’s spirit to conquer physical pain. By overcoming the sensation of pain, through many years of practice, fakirs hope to achieve spiritual enlightenment.
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