Peranakan Beaded Slippers From Malaysia

The Baba-Nyonya community of Malaysia has preserved their traditional beaded shoe, called the Peranakan beaded slippers and other bead work skills even today. Baba, Nyonyas are descendants of Chinese who settled in Malaysia during fifteenth and sixteenth century. The ‘bead work’ art skills they brought with them have passed down centuries. There are small pockets scattered in Malaysia which produce intricate bead work stuff. When I read about this I had this strong urge to possess one pair for myself.


Peranakan beaded slippers Malaysia

                         (Pic: Beehive Communications)

Handmade Peranakan Beaded Slippers for Bride

Internet threw up many interesting facts about this skill. Young Nyonya girls were taught to embroider and sew stuff for their wedding trousseau. The would-be brides made many slippers; these formed a part of her wedding dowry, and were proudly displayed. The custom was something like this: “A pair of beaded slippers sewn by the bride herself would be worn for the first time on the third day of the wedding, and thereafter worn on less ceremonial occasions and eventually becoming casual footwear.” During early twentieth century these beaded shoes were popular with both males and females.

Peranakan beaded slippers green

                      (Pic: Beehive Communications)

Today a variety of useful stuffs like purses, mobile pouches, belts are being created. Handmade beaded slippers are popular and sought after. The entire making process is tedious and strenuous on the eyes and it takes a long time to complete. Glass beads are sewn on shoe tops; these are then attached to soles which can be bought separately. Usually the shoes are custom made, but shops do have some for walk-in customers.

Cost of Peranakan Beaded Slippers

If you are planning to stay for longer duration you can order one for yourself. These cost RM 62 (US$20); the soles are RM 93-124 (US $30-40). Since there is a good demand for these kinds of shoes, schools have propped up in Penang, Malacca to teach this art.




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