Chinese foot binding tradition. Last living Chinese women with bound feet pictured 2019-01-11

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10 Facts about Chinese Foot Binding

chinese foot binding tradition

In Zhaoqing, another town in the Pearl river delta, they lived as a community. To start the process, the foot was extended at the ankle, and the fleshy part of the heel was pushed down and forward under the foot. One good book is Snow Flower and the Fan. Periodic attempts to ban it, as the Manchus tried in the 17th century, were never about foot-binding itself but what it symbolized. The trends among the folk class were decided by what the emperor preferred, so as Li Yu and future emperors appreciated women with small feet, foot binding became popular.

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Why Footbinding Persisted in China for a Millennium

chinese foot binding tradition

In 1999, the owner of the last lotus-foot shoe factory in sent its golden lotus shoe tree to a museum for preservation. At first, those who supported foot binding won these debates, but eventually those that opposed it prevailed. It continued in rural areas until around 1939 whereupon women with bound feet had the bindings forcibly removed by government decree. In fact, Farrell initially struggled to hunt down women with bound feet because she was told they no longer existed, that it was a very old, insert obsolete, tradition. The foot maintainer might opt to peel the toenails off altogether if they were becoming sites for infection. There are many stories concerning the origin of this custom, and perhaps part of each story has some element of truth. Chinese women with bound feet all wore special small shoes.

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Last living Chinese women with bound feet pictured

chinese foot binding tradition

For women, Neo-Confucianism placed extra emphasis on chastity, obedience and diligence. Part of the heel stuck out of the shoe and it was tied to the outside by a piece of cloth. They also viewed their bound feet as desirable and something to be proud of. The bandages had to remain on if the process was to work because of the necessity of constant pressure. Her reconfigured feet were made obvious by her distinct manner of walking: a swaying shuffle which came to be known as the Lotus Gait. Bound feet were considered to be sexually exciting to men, and girls who had them were much more likely to land a prestigious marriage. I have not made a full decision yet, but I am leaning strongly toward that conclusion.

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Bound By Tradition • Damn Interesting

chinese foot binding tradition

All told, the number of Chinese girls that were subjected to foot binding is numbered in the billions tens of millions. It required breaking the arch of the feet, and tying up the feet, causing them to curl up into stumps regarded as beautiful and sexually exciting to men. Facts about Chinese Foot Binding explain the Chinese tradition used to prevent the further growth of the feet on the young girls. Chinese Foot Binding Image Facts about Chinese Foot Binding 9: foot binding in 13th century During 13th century, there were many daughters and wives of the officials who practiced foot binding based on the archeological evidence. Once the job was complete women hobbled rather than walked around. Zhou Guizhen Zhou Guizhen is 86 year old and one of those few women who were alive when foot binding was a common practice for the women in China.

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Foot Binding

chinese foot binding tradition

This change in fashion suddenly had a perverse side effect: a lot of girls who had had their feet bound in order to become marriageable suddenly found themselves abandoned by their husbands because foot binding was no longer fashionable. I may make comments declaring certain ways of certain cultures as necessary for their time or otherwise beneficial foot binding definitely is not one! At that time a woman with a pair of small feet was regarded as a beauty. What did you tell him? On one occasion the empress signed her death warrant only to have the punishment commuted at the last minute to facial disfigurement. At the time, foot-binding was a status symbol and women had no choice but to engage in the practice to secure a good marriage. Even today the Chinese government feel uncomfortable about the topic, wary of its negative connotations. All of the above stories have one thing in common — each deals with royalty.

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The surprising truth about Chinese women who bind their feet

chinese foot binding tradition

Feet were soaked in a warm mixture of herbs and animal blood to soften them and toenails were cut back as far as possible. Where they never went, but were carried around the house. A woman rests her bound feet Jo Farrell Originally started by upper-class court dancers around the tenth century, the custom later spread to all classes in China. When Wang Lung moves Lotus into his house and builds her own separate court, she never goes out. In the 12th century, foot binding had become much more widespread, and by the early Qing Dynasty in the mid-17th century , every girl who wished to marry had her feet bound.

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10 Facts about Chinese Foot Binding

chinese foot binding tradition

Entrance was gained via a rigorous set of civil service exams that measured mastery of the Confucian canon. Once a foot had been crushed and bound, the shape could not be reversed without a woman undergoing the same pain all over again. Bound feet were considered to be highly appealing Many of the women later regretted practicing the tradition. Who could spare a healthy male for so many years as he deforms nicely? According to another story it began after an emperor became enchanted with a women with small feet who danced on top of a lotus-shaped platform. They stuck out most oddly from her exquisite brocaded skirt. The practice fell out of favor at the turn of the 20th century, viewed as an antiquated and shameful part of imperialist Chinese culture, and was officially banned soon after. Then the feet were massaged and oiled before all the toes, except the big toes, were broken and bound flat against the sole, making a triangle shape.

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FOOT BINDING AND SELF

chinese foot binding tradition

Pam Cooper of Northwest University is an expert of foot-binding. This is the single most important thing that history teaches us. Of course, with her feet bound, the woman was quite content to remain at home because, in addition to the pain of walking on them, she could not balance herself for a long period of time; consequently, she had no desire to do anything that would take an extra amount of energy. Soon, every ethnic Han Chinese woman of any social standing was expected to have lotus feet. At least scientists and historians tend to evolve their knowledge in a direction of greater truth. It stressed the indivisibility of social harmony, moral orthodoxy and ritualized behavior.


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Last living Chinese women with bound feet pictured

chinese foot binding tradition

Foot binding would occur in a ritualistic ceremony accompanied by other traditions intending to ward of bad luck. In Shanghai there were several debates between advocates of foot binding and advocates of natural feet—debates that were well-attended by both men and women. The fact that it was only performed by Chinese women turned the practice into a kind of shorthand for ethnic pride. Traditionally, the more colorful and elaborate type would be worn during their wedding days. Hehehe : Easy to criticize other cultures and different traditions. The marriage prospects for such a girl were dim indeed. At that time, every social class saw big feet as shameful and small feet as something to be proud of.

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The Chinese Custom of Foot Binding

chinese foot binding tradition

Why Foot Binding Was Popular There were two reasons behind the foot binding trend: the first was that the rulers' will affected the lives of the people; the second was the seeking of appreciation and praise from well-educated men. Li was in her 40s when her husband died, consigning her to an increasingly fraught and penurious widowhood that lasted for another two decades. Analysis of historical events is rather subjective. So foot binding started with the royal court and then spread throughout China, beginning in the south of the country and soon reaching the north. Some are thought to have formed romantic or sexual relationships. The toes on each foot were curled backwards and then pressed downwards and squeezed into the sole of the foot until the toes broke.

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