“Fête des sabots” of Lautrec Village

Lautrec Village: clog making demonstration
Lautrec Village: clog making demonstration

The lovely village of Lautrec situated in the Tarn department of the southwestern France, member of the “Plus Beaux Villages de France” – “The Most Beautiful Villages of France” – association, celebrates each year, on the 3rd Sunday of July, the “Fête des sabots et des anciens métiers”- “Clog and Old Trades Festival”:
The feast includes, to be sure, demonstrations of clog making using ancient machinery and introduces one to the history of this more than 2000 year old footwear – activities that take place at the tiny “Atelier du sabotier” museum.
Clogs in making
Clogs in making

Clog shaping machinery
Clog shaping machinery

The “Fête des sabots” is however a more comprehensive celebration that highlights the Lautrec village as a whole: its historic Occitan heritage, its flagship product – the pink garlic -, its life in past centuries the middle of “pays de cocagne” or the pastel country, this fabric dye that brought great wealth to this region of France.

Central Square of Lautrec Village
Central Square of Lautrec Village

Occitan traditional costumes
Occitan traditional costumes

As for the sabot’s history it was invented probably by the … Gauls (who, we learn, invented also the barrel), the ancestors of French people, sometime before the 2nd century BC.
Until the 19th century the clog worn in all the layers of the society was the universal footwear. Made of wood, more or less decorated, the sabot was gouged according to the client’s feet, offering a perfect contact surface.

The clog was such a common item in the daily life of people that in French language there are several verbal expressions referring to it:
Dormir comme un sabot = Sleep heavily
Ne pas mettre les pieds dans le meme sabot = Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket
Aboir du foin dans ses sabots = Becoming rich
Voir venir quelqu’un avec ses gros sabots = Somebody has barely hidden intentions
Travailler comme un sabot = Making something of low quality

Gouge device
Gouge device

Clogs
Clogs

"Nice Neighbors" Square
“Nice Neighbors” Square in Lautrec Village

Old street in Lautrec village
Old street in Lautrec village

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