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 Toeing the Line

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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Toeing the Line   Mon 14 Jan 2013, 06:15



The three major feet types, so named because this is how feet were depicted on statues from Egypt, Rome and Greece.

1. The big toe is longer than all the toes, this is 63% of the world's population.
2. Or peasant's toe, the first 3 toes are the same length. 6% of the population.
3. Or Morton's toe, the second toe is longer and forming a triangular aspect. 31% of the population. Although, a high percentage of the modern Greek population actually do have this foot type. It should be noted that all Neanderthal skeletons found also have Morton's toe.

As most of us here have some form of English, Celtic or related ancestry there is a fascinating study here of various skeletal feet excavated from areas across the UK and a comparison to the modern population.
http://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/footloose-in-archaeology.htm

So what are your feet?
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Mon 14 Jan 2013, 08:12

My feet are fine thanks!

Your post reminded me of this which made the news last year, reckoned to be the world's oldest prosthetic (along with the Tabaketenmut toe in the Egyptian national museum in Cairo). This is the Greville Chester Toe from the British Museum and dates back to 600BCE. Why an Egyptian should have been called Greville Chester has never been adequately explained by Egyptologists ...

You can see that the classical Egyptian foot enjoyed some variation in its aesthetic qualities Smile

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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Mon 14 Jan 2013, 09:26

@nordmann wrote:
My feet are fine thanks!

Oh come on Nordmann, don't be shy.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Mon 14 Jan 2013, 09:26

In evolutionary terms of course the shape of the feet as depicted in classical statuary (and ID's confirmation that the same shape pertains today amongst a majority of the population there) indicates that the Greeks are considerably behind in the evolutionary process - and judging by the diagram by a good hundred thousand years!

In primitive humans the line of leverage when walking upright led to an increase in length of the middle toe compared to its neighbours. Since then this line has shifted with a corresponding redesign of the foot as the longer toe moved towards the big one. As we can see the Greeks are only halfway there.

This shift in the line of leverage has also led to the gradual demise of the little toe on both feet - at this point a very much reduced appendage which plays practically no function with regard to balance or gait. It might be worth examining Greek feet in this respect too. If their little toes have not shrunk as much as the rest of the species' then it mights serve to confirm atavism or retardation in the evolutionary process in their case. Worse, if the little toe has shrunk in tandem with the rest of the species', expect the entire Greek population to be falling over in the streets shortly or steering themselves wildly into walls, open pithos pits and goats etc.
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Mon 14 Jan 2013, 12:43

My tootsies would suggest that I'm in direct line from Princess Scota, no surprise there of course.

On the other hand - or foot - I may be an Anglo-Saxon interloper. http://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/features/footloose-in-archaeology.htm
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Wed 16 Jan 2013, 17:55

I see no section for feet that grew into years of aunt's shoes because 'they are new and I don't want to throw them away.' Several years later, a specialist told off my mother in no uncertain terms - he actually threw shoes across the room. I got lot and lots of new shoes after that - but my toe arrangement never righted - or lefted come to that.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Wed 16 Jan 2013, 18:58

Having the wrong shaped foot can ruin a young dancer's chances of ever excelling at her art.

The Roman shape is ideal for ballet - the Egyptian not so good, and having Greek toes usually means you're out.

The following photo and desperate little post were received on a ballet web-site:



"My teacher told me she thinks I have the potential to go on pointe sometime this year or next. I have a really big concern because my second toe is longer than the first...Will I still be able to dance on pointe?"

The answer is sadly, "Probably not without gel patches. Not ideal. Blame your ancestors."
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Wed 16 Jan 2013, 19:53

Priscilla's post reminds me that I did my feet no good when I began secondary school in a hand-me-down uniform which included shoes. The rest of it didn't matter and even stood me in reasonable stead with my teachers (though probably not my peers): my battered hat never raised any comment in uniform inspections as they knew I hadn't deliberately distorted its shape. It was just old and out of shape. But I didn't like to complain to my poor father (who seemed to have plenty of money to splash on dazzling presents, so perhaps wasn't really poor, despite mentions of Queer Street every now and again) so put up with hurt feet for too long.

I am struggling with my toes and have decided my ancestors must be a mixture of Egyptians and Romans. They seem to go fairly straight across four and then the little one is shrunken away. (Though the fourth toe may look longer than it is because of the rather thick nail on its end.)
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Wed 16 Jan 2013, 23:50

And temp going 'en pointe' too early(7) did me no good either - so when I couldn't walk -at 14 - aunties shoes were blamed.... I doubt we told the Dr. about 6 hours or more ballet each week. I then took to boats - at least you get to sit down; mercifully aunty never wore shorts to pass on.

caro - too much info, thank you; no pics pleeeese.
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Gran
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Thu 17 Jan 2013, 02:20

I have the "Modern English" feet, my lot all came from Gloucestershire bordering on Wales. except now the poor feet have been well and truly pushed out of shape by various shoes etc.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Thu 17 Jan 2013, 08:56

@Priscilla wrote:
And temp going 'en pointe' too early(7) did me no good either - so when I couldn't walk -at 14 - aunties shoes were blamed.... I doubt we told the Dr. about 6 hours or more ballet each week. I then took to boats - at least you get to sit down; mercifully aunty never wore shorts to pass on.


You were dancing en pointe at seven? Dear God, Priscilla, whoever was teaching you ballet should have been shot.

Girls should *never* attempt pointe work before they are at least twelve - the bones are still growing and have not ossified (I think that is the correct word) before that age. No wonder you "couldn't walk" at fourteen.

At the Royal Ballet School, a girl's feet are actually x-rayed to ensure bone development has progressed enough to enable her to dance safely (not that it's ever really "safe") en pointe. And there should, of course, have been rigorous pre-pointe training to ensure that the feet, ankle and - above all - the core muscles are strong enough to cope.

For some reason this has made me think of the Chinese (was it *just* Chinese?) practice of foot-binding. That custom presumably has now been completely eradicated. Yet in the West we continue to wear ridiculous shoes that can cause terrible damage to the feet.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Toeing the Line   Thu 17 Jan 2013, 09:00

Pointeless disfigurement, I agree.
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