Hong Kong CNN It was an excruciatingly painful practice that maimed the feet of millions of Chinese girls and women for centuries: foot-binding. Work, not sex? More Videos Living with bound feet
Chinese Foot Binding, History of Bound Feet in Ancient China
Foot binding was the Chinese custom of breaking and tightly binding the feet of young girls in order to change the shape and size of their feet; during the time it was practiced, bound feet were considered a status symbol and a mark of beauty. Feet altered by foot binding were known as lotus feet , and the shoes made for these feet were known as lotus shoes. Having possibly originated among upper-class court dancers during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in 10th century China, the practice of foot binding gradually became popular among the Chinese elite during the Song dynasty. Foot binding eventually spread to most social classes by the Qing dynasty , with the practice only ceasing to exist in the early 20th century. The practice and application of foot binding varied, with the more severe forms of binding possibly having developed in the 16th century. The prevalence and practice of foot binding varied in different parts of the country, with the feet of young women bound to raise their marriage prospects in some areas. However, foot binding was also a painful practice that significantly limited the mobility of women, resulting in lifelong disabilities for most of its subjects, including the inability to walk quickly and significant pain and discomfort while walking.
Work, not sex? The real reason Chinese women bound their feet
In the latest round of filming there was an incident that haunts me. It took place during a segment on the social changes that affected Chinese women in the late 13th century. These changes can be illustrated by the practice of female foot-binding. Some early evidence for it comes from the tomb of Lady Huang Sheng, the wife of an imperial clansman, who died in When it was over, I turned to the museum curator who had given me the shoes and made some comment about the silliness of using toy shoes.
Foot binding was the practice of curling young girls' feet to modify their shape. It was prevalent in ancient China. The bound feet, to about 10 centimeters in size, were considered to be attractive in ancient times due to their small size.