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Traditional shoes in China

Traditional shoes in China

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The origin of lily feet is not very certain. It is often said that it appeared during the Five Dynasties (907–960). According to legend, a king asked a lady-in-waiting named Ruiniang to bind her feet and dance on a golden lotus flower, so it was called three-cun lily feet. After that, the custom of foot-binding emerged. But this custom ceased after the founding of New China, and shoes for lily feet entered the museums. There is another story about lily feet. The king of the Sui Dynasty (581–618) was immoral. When he traveled along the river, he did not want to use men to tow his boat, so he chose 100 beautiful women. A blacksmith’s daughter, Wu Yueniang, was one of them. She bound her feet and hid a small sword inside. She wore very beautiful small shoes with lotus flowers which attracted the king’s attention. When the king came closer to look, Wu Yueniang drew out the sword and stabbed the king’s arm. Wu Yueniang failed to kill the king; then she jumped into the river and killed herself. From then on, women began binding their feet to memorialize Wu Yueniang. (Source: Chinese Shoe Culture Museum)

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9 Comments »

  • John Michael says:

    wow, thats hot.

  • Duan says:

    I can’t even begin to describe how sick that makes me feel. Brutal.

  • Chris says:

    Oh that was so disgusting. why would anyone want to do that.

  • 131546566 says:

    This woman was shown on a Discovery Channel documentary; women with small feet were objects of desire (parents would apply bandages to their young daughters in order to attain small feet) until the Communists banned this tradition (who would have thought it). IMHO the music for that Discovery Channel presentation truly reflected the suffering of this women in order to marry a wealthy man, for their families’ sake. Sad.

  • 131546566 says:

    One last: having feet deliberately deformed in such a way, women had to walk taking short steps, the which was supposed to add to their sex appeal.

  • Lara says:

    Ok, the first few pictures, up to the one with the elder lady, are NOT foot binding. In fact, they have nothing to do with China or their tradition of foot binding at all. If I recall correctly, those were modeling pictures showing “killer high heels”.

    Apart from that, this is repulsive but I believe every culture has had similar repulsive traditions. China is a brilliant country, though still developing.

  • mehitabel says:

    None of those shoes are “traditional Chinese” except for the actual “lotus shoes” of the foot-bound woman. Many of the styles pictured here resemble the chopines favored by Venetian courtesans in the 15th-15th centuries, and the ones that look like point shoes (ballet) are merely fetish shoes.

  • Stormie says:

    The shoes pictured above the one of the elderly lady are primarily fetish type shoes usually worn by submissives in the SMBD subculture. The only ones that are not are the red boots and the black glitter ankle boots. Those just look like club shoes. The only legitimate traditional foot binding shoes in this whole article are the lotus shoes worn by the elderly lady.

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