New Shoes


Superstition regarding new shoes.


Anouchka Giles was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. She moved to Durban, South Africa, in her twenties and lived there until immigrating to the United States in 2012. Lee (mentioned in the script) is a close friend of Anouchka’s from her time living in South Africa.

Original Script:

“So you buy a box of shoes, the worst thing you can do is put them on the table: that’s really bad luck.”

Informant’s Background Knowledge and Relationship with this Piece:

When asked where she learned about this superstition and why she followed it, Anouchka replied “okay, and then, well I dunno this was Lee’s thing. She told me about it and until she told me about it I was okay with putting shoes on the table, now I’m not. I don’t know, I don’t know where Lee’s got these things from.” The informant did not seem to know of any reason or logic for the superstition, but trusted her friend and followed the rule (of keeping new shoes off the table) just in case there was something to it.

Thoughts About the Piece:

I understand why putting shoes on the table might be considered a bad thing to do, but if anything I would imagine that this would be more the case for used shoes, which might be dirty, as opposed to new shoes.