Sticks.. vines.. simple engineering… hut! Coconut… scry magic.. Radio!!
The merchant grinned “Dear sir, I noticed you had your eye on that charm. Might I interest you in a little bit of its history? Of course I would. I will have you know, that charm has seen its way through many an adventure, and saved the lives of many of the adventurers therein. Legend tells that it was crafted centuries ago by Yurid Norcral, the greated Dwarven runesmith to ever live. Later it was said to have been enchanted by ancient Elven magics which have since been lost to the ages. Quite a rare find.”
In ancient China, women bind their feet for cosmetic reasons, resulting in them not able to walk without help and walking in a shuffling gait.
Possibly this can be modified such that people do it for less stupid reasons.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a racist remark since I'm Chinese myself and hence entitled to freely judge Chinese customs. NOT sexist either since I'm female as well.