|WikiProject Russia / Technology & engineering / History / Demographics & ethnography||(Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)|
First, while I can see including this in the Russian section since bast shoes are said here to be something of a Slavic iconic cultural item, they are actually still in use in the Western Himalayas and probably other areas and perhaps deserve to be included as a sub-category of "Shoes" as well.
Second, while I don't know about the location of documentation, a friend has recently emailed me that they were intrigued to see bast shoes for sale in local markets in the Parvati Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India. Probably the forest department of the State of Himachal has some scholarly documentation on them, as might other Indian institutions like the Crafts Museum in New Delhi.
Third, as with many traditional crafts in developing areas, depending which plant is used, and how, there may be a sustainability issue if the shoes should become popular export items. It is better to anticipate this and develop substitutes in advance. It is a bit of a soft issue, but this places the topic potentially in the category of industrial sustainability problems.
Finally, one doesn't know if they make shoes, but in parts of Madagascar the people continue to use bast fibres for local cloth. Bast usage in this role used to be very widespread in Africa, but has given way to other types of fibre in textiles recently, notably cotton. A similar phenomenon has occurred in the Himalayas, with bast cloth of hemp, pineapple, banana, and local nettles (sisnu) giving way to machine-spun and powerloom woven cotton and wool, with a small revival of some bast cloths as a craft export and for tourists. This leads to the issue of whether a wider Wikipedia topic of Bast fibre textiles is not warranted. I personally would like to see it. Bast fibre cloth, especially when the thread is handspun and made up of tight plainweave woven on a backstrap loom, is often very beautiful. One wants that the art not die out. FurnaldHall (talk) 01:33, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
- It will be very interesting to see the expansion of this article for other cultures. The Russian wikipedia artice has indications to other ethnicities: Tatars, Native Americans and Australian aborigenes (unfortunately, without references). Please provide references for your information, or, even better, write a piece of article, with references provided. `'Míkka>t 03:17, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
A spurious ad for Russian tourism Why is there an entire panel listing a plethora of Russian arts & crafts sources and tourist destinations under "external links" on a page dedicated to shoes made from bast fibres? 1. As someone has pointed out above, many parts of the world have made these items and continue to make them. So they while bast fibre shoes may have a special place in the hearts of Russians, Russia has no special claim on them - nor to have a large collection of miscellaneous handicraft & tourist destination links associated with it. 2. The link is in effect, a tourist advertisement. 3. It has nothing to do with bast fibre shoes as such. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.104.22.168 (talk) 22:20, 6 January 2015 (UTC)