Friday, March 19, 2010

Three-Inch Lotus Shoes - PH

PhotoHunt theme : Three

These tiny shoes are called 'lotus shoes'. They were worn by wealthy Chinese women. Each shoe measuring only three inches long, they are made of silk and beautifully embroidered.

In ancient China, young girls between the ages of three and six would have their feet broken, bent in half and tightly bound to restrict and alter their growth. The perfectly bound foot was only three inches long. *faint*

So the poor girl’s feet actually shrank to the point that they could fit into shoes that were only three inches long!! Gosh!

Their parents would threatened them by saying "no man will marry you if you don't bind your feet".

Taiwan has a Foot-binding Culture Museum which has a collection of more than 10,000 silk stockings, shoes, and foot-binding paraphernalia dating from the Ming Dynasty.

Foot-binding Culture Museum
Jhongjheng District, Taipei City 10049, Taiwan




First Commenter - Sg Short Stories

37 comments:

  1. Last time, girls with small feet are considered pretty and as such many ladies have to bear the pain of having their feet tied up when they are young so that they will be more
    'marketable' for marriage.

    Luckily society has become more open these days.

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  2. What an amazing post! Cultural history, women's studies and only THREE inches! Your post is the first that I have found for this theme "Three". And it is a very, very good one! Very thought-provoking. And, as usual, I still am not completely certain how I am going to solve this challenge.
    Your post is hard to top! I am not even going to try. I will do something very ordinary.

    Best wishes,
    Anna

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  3. I think my feet will break if I use this. :D

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  4. It must be very painful for the feet to go through such torture. Thank goodness, our Chinese culture has evolved.

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  5. Hope your'e recovering well ECL.

    What a coincidence about you showing that picture of the lotus shoes.I was talking about it to a colleague last week and we saw another photo of the same lotus wearer above but exposing her bare feet which made us shudder in horror at the sight.We can only imagine the pain she must have went thru as a child when her feet were systematically bent & broken to fit into this absurd old ideology of beauty,wealth & status in China.THEN.
    Its ironic now how wearing a pair of Chanel pumps or Dior stilletoes has replaced the lotus shoes as the ultimate wealth & beauty ideology with the youth in China.

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  6. I couldn't imagine what those girls went through. It must have been quite an ordeal having their feet restricted like that.

    Thanks for sharing this interesting piece.

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  7. That is really scary however I have a friend who went through this and the pain and agony she felt was terrible. However, the shoes are very color and unique.

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  8. I heard about foot binding for years and really didn't fully understand what it meant until I think 2 years ago, I was looking through some magazines and saw an article about food binding. There were pictures of how the woman's feet look like and it just really disgusted me. Gosh, how painful it must of been to have your feet broken and bound. I'm sooo glad this practice is dead now.

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  9. Oooo... I do not think any of that generation of women would still be alive today. Nowadays, women prefer to show off their nice nail polish right? :P

    http://crizcats.blogspot.com/

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  10. When I was a kid, we had a neighbor,a Chinese girl married to a Filipino, with feet like that. I felt sorry to see her walk but it did not seem to bother her at all. She never volunteered to tell us why her feet were like that and we never asked. Now I know! Thanks.

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  11. it's cute the shoes but i don't agree with the foot binding because it restricts the natural growth of the feet. I believe this is not beneficial to people.

    happy weekend ecl! baby's sleeping so i can sneak blog =)

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  12. aloha,

    this is my first time visiting this new photohunt site, i love your interpretation and i’m inpired to join also, i enjoyed your take of the weekly challenge and seeing the tiny bound shoes...yikes!


    Have a great weekend.

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  13. Very interesting. These are beautiful shoes. Ancient cultures sure had their own (sometimes cruel) takes on beauty.

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  14. Oh my goodness! I cannot imagine anyone doing that! I admit I have huge feet, but that's the way the good Lord made them! LOL!

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  15. With that tiny bound feet, walking around must be very difficult! I remembered seeing an old amah with tiny feet, in Singapore, when I was a child. The way she walked is kind of funny,almost like the way penguin walk!

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  16. It looks so nice but I felt my hair stand up thinking in the idea
    I think it was so painful
    I think men had strange mind these days

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  17. Its such a cruel practice! I am totally against this! Haha!

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  18. This is painful to look at. To think of the logic driving this practice. Frightening. Wow. I wonder how such things become acceptable.

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  19. I have seen a documentary about foot binding. One was a chinese woman and the other one of asian descent but was living in the US already,that is my memory serves me right. But my goodness that must really hurt a lot.. Everybody perceive beauty in different way.

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  20. I can't imagine anyone could fit her feet into that tiny shoes! I'm glad they don't do this anymore.

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  21. What a horrible fashion ! I saw these shoes here in the Asiatic museum which is located in a japonse tower. There are lots of these little shoes exposed. What a torture for the woman ! I also read a book a chinese girl had written how she suffered when her mother started with this at age of 6 and later when she married a doctor he asked her to undo the bandage which was even worse !

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  22. I had heard of foot binding before but didn't realise how tiny the shoes were! It is crazy what people see as attractive, isn't it? I much prefer my long, flat feet!

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  23. That makes me cringe! The things that are done to children in the cause of "beauty". What an interesting post.

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  24. I am glad that such practices have stopped. :)

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  25. What an awful treadition for women to have to live by.

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  26. Those are really tiny and a great idea for the theme :-)

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  27. this is the most creative entry i have seen today and it's the most fascinating too.

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  28. Oh, I heard about this before but 3 inches? OMG! That's crazy!!

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  29. i love the way you write in your blog. I can't imagine how painful it is. So, the girls will have 3 inches long feet until they die? There is no chance of stretching it back to normal size?


    care to ex links?

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  30. I have seen these shoes too. It's cute but when I think about what women went through, it makes me shivver. I am glad we didn't live in those times anymore...

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