Some adult woman continued to wrap their deformed feet in bindings, wearing them in public or when bathing. (Gamble, 181). The lack of mobility would not have greatly affected working women in their traditional household employment of spinning, weaving, sewing, and embroidery. Other stories say foot binding began during Tang times. For these women, the process that began with a lot of pain and tears would likewise have ended with pain and tears. In this position, the feet were tightly bound using long strips of cloth, which then restricted any future growth and gave the foot a pronounced arch. Emperor Li Yu created a six-foot tall golden lotus decorated with precious stones and pearls, and asked his concubine Yao Niang (zh) to bind her feet in white silk into the shape of the crescent moon, and performed a ballet-like dance on the points of her feet on the lotus. Last modified September 27, 2017. Southern Tang emperor Li Yu’s concubine Gong Bin wrapped around the feet with cloth, it was in “crescent” shape. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. When Did The 20th Century Start And End? The feet were unbound after one month, any ulcerations of the skin treated, and the foot rebound again. Those who had their feet bound to become more desirable, now found themselves being abandoned by their husbands, as it was no longer fashionable. How did foot binding come to an end? Even as an adult a woman continued to wrap her deformed feet in bindings, wearing them at all times in public and when bathing. When Did Foot Binding Start? The girl’s broken feet required a great deal of care and attention, and they would be unbound regularly. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. According to history, an emperor's favorite concubine danced on a gilded lotus flower with bound feet, which gained the emperor's favor. According to the story, an emperor had a favorite concubine, a dancer who built a gilded stage in the shape of a lotus flower. Studies of a sample village of over 500 families in 1929 CE (Tinghsien) showed that it was almost a universal practice amongst women over 40 years of age but reduced to around half when considering the female population as a whole. With so many Western women entering the country, there was a strong push against the practice, especially from the wives of Christian missionaries. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. "The Disappearance of Foot-Binding in Tinghsien. When—and why—did the practice of foot binding begin? Many women had bound feet, and they bound their daughter's feet too. One legend suggests foot binding began during the reign of Li Yu (961-975) who ruled one region of china, according to … In 1999, the last shoe factory making lotus shoes, the Zhiqiang Shoe Factory in Harbin, closed. There are a few suggestions for the origin of foot binding, however, the general view is it originated from the time of Emperor Li Yu (Southern Tang of the Ten Kingdoms, just before the Song Dynasty). Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. The widespread nature of the practice by aristocrats meant that lower class parents saw foot-binding as an opportunity to raise the prospects of their own children. "Foot-Binding." It started in China in the 10th century and was only completely abolished in the 20th. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Foot binding is an old Chinese custom of wrapping girls' feet with cloth in order to stop them from growing with age. The practice of binding feet may have started with the dancer Yaoniang, who performed in the Tang dynasty court, or more generally the Turkic dancers who performed there during the 10th century CE. In the 12th century, foot binding became much more widespread, and by the early Qing Dynasty (in the mid-17th century), every girl who wished to marry had her feet bound. The bandages were wound in a figure-eight movement, starting from the inside of the foot (the instep), then over the toes, under the foot, and around the heel, ensuring the freshly broken toes were pressing tightly into the sole of the foot. The Qing poet Yuan Mei (1716-1797 CE) was one notable figure who was publicly against foot-binding, and Confucian scholars remained unimpressed, associated as it was with women of the ‘entertainment’ industry and having the sole purpose of making the woman more attractive. Little by little,it would start breaking bones from all the body. In this paper the author traces the origin of foot binding, process of foot binding, reasons for foot binding, physiological implication, opposition and abolishment of foot binding. Don’t Miss These Wildlife Safari Adventures in the Heart of the U.S. Uncovering Chinese ‘Friendship’ Groups in Europe, Practicing Medicine Requires Medical Ethics, China’s Fixation With Blame Theories on Origin of the CCP Coronavirus, US Slapping Fresh Sanctions on 59 Chinese Entities, Taiwan Begins Domestic Submarine Production to Protect From Mainland Threat, Woodnest Cabins: Experience the Wilderness at Its Best. However, there was no significant result about it. (Image: via wikimedia / CC0 1.0). Gradually, other court ladies—with money, time and a void to fill—took up foot-binding, making it … Foot-binding was a practice first carried out on young girls in Tang Dynasty China to restrict their normal growth and make their feet as small as possible. Imagine massaging your 3-year-old daughter’s feet, then you grab her little toes and curl them under her foot, then you press with excessive force downward and squeeze them into the sole of the foot until her toes break. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. (12) Foot binding is said to have started as an indicator of Chinese class, but as time progressed, the tradition became more commonplace. When—and why—did the practice of foot binding begin? Actually there were many Chinese reformers who tried to ban foot binding in 19th century. 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