(Persia Digest) – “Charough” is a hand art of Zanjan in northwestern Iran, dating back to the Sassanid era. But, workshops around Zanjan still produce the footwear which is popular among many.

“Charough” is one of the oldest footwear in Iran; it is made mainly of leather. Archaeological digs in Zanjan have discovered remains of this, in particular of the leather boot belonging to the “salt man”, a mummy discovered in the Zanjan salt mines. This indicates that the leather industry here is at least 2000 years old. The hand art is estimated to go back to the Sassanid era. Its ornaments have changed throughout the years, reaching a peak during the Safavid time.

Different types of charough in Zanjan are made mainly of materials such as hemp, animal skin, all leather, and a special type made for farmers. Each is made in its own special way by using leather, processed animal skin, and other materials such as cotton, hemp, and silk.

Charough is still popular in Zanjan and is a full time job for some. Mardali Heidari is one of the oldest charough makers in Zanjan with 40 years of experience in this art.


Photos: Babak Borzuyeh/Mehr News Agency

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