Modern term for the ancient Persian science of divination
through the study of feet, similar to the study of hands in palmistry.
An official cartopedist was employed by the rulers of ancient
Persia and India, to be consulted on such important matters
as the choice of a bride. Measurements and footprints were
studied intensively, sometimes over a period of weeks, before
interpretations were made. The size of the foot, the shape of
the heel and toes, and the degree of arch were all considered,
as well as the lines or markings on the foot itself. Together they
were believed to indicate character, ability, and destiny. Cartopedy
was also widely used in ancient Arabia.
Cartopedy is still practiced in India and Pakistan in conjunction
with palmistry. Cartopedists are consulted by parents to assess
the characteristics of potential brides or husbands for their
children, and some employers engage them in hiring staff. In
crime detection the police use the services of payyindas, or foot
trackers, who can assess the characteristics of a wanted man
from his footprints.
Fahl, Toufic. La divination arabe. Paris Sinbad, 1987.