There was a time when only the more affluent Caymanians could afford to wear store-bought shoes on a regular basis, and those who had little money who did have nice shoes only wore them to church, weddings and other special occasions. However, that did not stop the not-so-rich from creating their own everyday footwear. In this image, photographed in 1973 somewhere in East End or North Side, a farmer’s feet are shown sporting “wompers.” A clever and simple idea, an old car tire was cut to fit the foot size and strong thatch rope was used as straps. If you happen to see anyone wearing this footwear these days, it’s a rare moment, so pull out your smartphone and snap a shot.
This image is from the book ‘The People Time Forgot’ by George Nowak, available at the National Museum. All proceeds from sales of the book go toward museum projects.