Khussa, Naagra, Saleem Shahi, Mojari, Jootti … all these refer to different versions of a flat, closed toe footwear that is indigenous to the Subcontinent. Khussas have evolved quite a lot with the passage of time. But what has not changed is their elegance, comfort and durability. With the globalization of fashion, khussas have gained global fame because of their endless range of designs and high quality of craftsmanship. These are just some of the factors that make khussas the best footwear for (almost) all occasions.
Like all other fancy things, the Mughals came up with the production and popularity of khusssas too. According to some historians, Mughal king Jahangir was the first one to start wearing khussas embellished with gems and precious metal threadwork. Before him, people used to wear plain leather khussas. That’s probably where the name Saleem Shahi comes from, since emperor Jahangir was also called Saleem. Due to the Mughal patronage, khussas started becoming popular in all parts of Indo-Pak subcontinent.
Reasons Why Khussas Reign Supreme
The various type of khussas that we see today i.e. the Mojari, Jutti, Saleem Shahi and Nagra are all different due to the materials and types of embroidery or embellishments used on them. They also differ on the basis of area of origin. For example, Saleem Shahis are made from goat leather whereas Nagras are made from camel leather. Khussas having filigree patterns were traditionally made at Wazirabaad, therefore called Wazirabaadi. Shikaarpuri, Chakwali, Bahawalpuri, Qasoori and Multani khussas are also available in the market. Hence there are khussas from many areas of the country, each with its own unique features.
Traditional khussas have always been known for being handcrafted by karigars (craftsmen). They use various materials in making khussas. The materials used for embroidery on the khussa include gold and silver zari work, dabka, mukesh, velvet, ribbons, sequins and mirror work. Hence each pair of khussas is a result of hardwork and creativity of the craftsman. This makes it much more valuable than other mass-produced, machine made footwear.
- Reasonable price
Khussas are available at quite reasonable prices in most Pakistani markets. A well-crafted pair of plain, genuine leather khussas starts from PKR 1500 (depending on your city and the location of the market). Cloth or velvet khussas cost can vary from PKR 500 to 5000, depending upon the materials used, the delicacy of the work and the kind of embellishments.
Comfort and durability
One pair of khussas can last a long time without getting worn-out. Genuine handmade leather khussas are obviously the most comfortable and durable, due to the use of premium materials and craftsmanship. But even mass produced ones are much more long-lasting than other types of traditional footwear (like kolhapuris or plain chappals). Khussas also cover more of the foot and are mostly flat. This makes them a much more practical option for doing daily tasks than stilettos or other types of heels.
Spoilt for choice
Are you looking for the perfect footwear for your Eid dress? Want to spice up your plain jeans and top? Don’t know what to wear with that awesome pair of gharara pants you just bought? Going out with friends to watch a movie?
Well, if you’re one of those people who feel incomplete without the perfect footwear, look no further than the all-purpose khussa. From the plain leather ones for college or work to embellished khussas for eid and wedding ceremonies, there is literally an endless choice of designs, colours and materials that you can buy and wear to your heart’s content.
There are a bunch of other reasons that Khussas are the most affordable and stylish footwear. To know more about this fascinating traditional shoe, watch this space!