Namibians wearing Vellies (Shoes)
“Velskoen, pronounced “fell-skoon” and known colloquially as “vellies,” are the ancestor of the modern-day desert boot. Vellies were first made in the 1600s, inspired by the footwear of the Khoikhoi tribe and crafted using raw materials. Later, our vellies were adapted by British travellers, packaged and renamed to be what we now know as desert boots.
(Brother Vellies) are made in the coastal town of Swakopmund, Namibia. There, a small group of eight Damara gentlemen assemble every shoe by hand, turning out just 20 pairs an afternoon.
…Vellies are made of vegetable-dyed Kudu leather. The Namibian government mandates the culling of these large native antelope to control their population. Kudu skin yields amazingly durable leather and suede that ages exceptionally well. Because these hides are taken from wild animals they often show scars or other “imperfections” that domesticated hides do not.”