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Chinese foot binding

Discussion in 'Podiatry Trivia' started by NewsBot, May 13, 2008.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Pictures here
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  2. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Foot binding

    Foot binding was the custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to modify the shape of the foot. The practice possibly originated among upper-class court dancers during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in Imperial China (10th or 11th century), then became popular among the elite during the Song dynasty and eventually spread to all social classes. Foot binding became popular as a means of displaying status (women from wealthy families, who did not need their feet to work, could afford to have them bound) and was correspondingly adopted as a symbol of beauty in Chinese culture. Its prevalence and practice however varied in different parts of the country. Feet altered by binding were called lotus feet.

    It has been estimated that by the 19th century, 40–50% of all Chinese women may have had bound feet, and up to almost 100% among upper class Han Chinese women.[1] The Manchu Kangxi Emperor tried to ban foot binding in 1664 but failed.[2] In the later part of the 19th century, Chinese reformers challenged the practice but it was not until the early 20th century that foot binding began to die out as a result of anti-foot-binding campaigns. Foot-binding resulted in lifelong disabilities for most of its subjects, and a few elderly Chinese women still survive today with disabilities related to their bound feet.[1]

    1. ^ a b Lim, Louisa (19 March 2007). "Painful Memories for China's Footbinding Survivors". Morning Edition. National Public Radio. 
    2. ^ Cite error: The named reference bbc was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
     
  3. Admin2

    Admin2 Administrator Staff Member

  4. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

    netizens

    Levy, Howard S: The Lotus Lovers: The Complete History of the Curious Erotic Tradition of Foot Binding in China. New York:prometheus Books 1991

    A comprehensive introduction to the subject and considered by most authorities to be a definitive reference.


    Jackson, Beverly: Splendid Slippers. Berkley: Tenspeed Press. 1997
    Well worth reading this book and has superb photographs.
    http://www.amazon.com/Splendid-Slippers-Thousand-Erotic-Tradition/dp/0898159571

    You can contact her through her website at:
    http://www.silcom.com/~bevjack/

    Dorothy Ko also has a some interesting books on the subject
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0520232844/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

    fabby subject

    toeslayer
     
  5. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  6. admin

    admin Administrator Staff Member

     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
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    admin Administrator Staff Member

     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  8. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

    netizens

    The continued bandaging of adult feet makes the difference between comfort and pain. Provided the small feet are bandaged and the lady wears her shoes then they can move perfectly well. The mistake made by the missionaries at the beginning of the 20th century was they forced the feet to be unbound and left the women (and men) crippled for life. During the Revolution, small feet were a give away of anti-communist communities. What a choice either wearing Lotus shoes and being killed , or going unbound and crippled for life. Many of the women who survived belonged to remote communities where the communists were less active.

    The modern primitive (people who are tatooed and scarified as a fashion statment) will also bind their feet today. The fashion is followed with the intention of wearing small sized shoes. Binding is much less severe but no less painful to the adult foot. Cosmetic surgery including toe amputations are part of the same movement. The European fashion for foot binding came to vogue during the 17th century and many courtisans had their feet tightly bound to wear smaller shoes to impress the Regent. Like today, the heel-less pump became the fashion shoe of choice.


    toeslayer
     
  9. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    A case study of Chinese bound feet: application of footprint analysis.
    Reischl U, Nandikolla V, Colby C, Mijović B, Wei HC.
    Coll Antropol. 2008 Jun;32(2):629-32.
     
  10. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Sociocultural epistasis and cultural exaptation in footbinding, marriage form, and religious practices in early 20th-century Taiwan.
    Brown MJ, Feldman MW.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 29;106(52):22139-44.
     
  11. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

    netizens

    These observations help explain the discomfort, gait abnormalities, and disabilities exhibited by many older women with bound feet living in China today.

    I think it also underlines the folly of removing Lotus Shoes from those with bound feet. The majority of women found with bound feet who survived the Cultural Revolution were 'lierated' from their bindings and shoes by people who may not having realised the important function lotus shoe played in locomotion. Women found in living in rural areas who continued to wear their shoes lead productive and active lives with no apparent no apparent disadvantage from having their feet bound. Women who had their bandages removed led an altogther more painful existance.

    toeslayer
     
  12. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Feet and fabrication: footbinding and early twentieth-century rural women's labor in Shaanxi.
    Bossen L, Xurui W, Brown MJ, Gates H.
    Mod China. 2011;37(4):347-83.
     
  13. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I love this subject, but please it is not trivia. as I am sure my colleague Cameron will have told/will tell, Chinese foot binding has connotations that most of us will only ponder at. My son-in law's gran had bound feet; she died perhaps 5 years ago aged 100 and a big regret is that I never saw them. Truth be told, the cultural difficulty in asking to see her feet would have been huge. I leave Cameron to talk about the real reason why feet were bound. Rob
     
  14. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

    netizens

    So far I have omitted to write a scholarly paper on this subject simply out of respect for the millions of women (and men ) who experienced foot binding over the centuries . The practice was part of a doctrine never to be questioned and that is a lesson we might all learn from in an age where fundamentalism appears to preoccupy the thoughts of many on the planet.

    Fortunately there is an informed publication on the subject called "Splendid Slippers" by Beverley Jackson. <http://www.splendidslippers.com/main.html> Well worth a read.

    toeslayer
     
  15. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    A study on bone mass in elderly chinese foot-binding women.
    Pan Y, Qin L, Xu M, He Y, Bao J, Guo X, Shu J.
    Int J Endocrinol. 2013;2013:351670.
     
  16. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    A pilot study on Gait Kinematics of Old Women with Bound Feet
    Yan Zhang, Neng Feng, Nanzhi Hu, Yaodong Gu
    source
    A Study on Bone Mass in Elderly Chinese Foot-Binding Women
    Yi Pan et al
    International Journal of Endocrinology; Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 351670,
     
  18. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Lifelong bound feet in China: a quantitative ultrasound and lifestyle questionnaire study in postmenopausal women.
    Qin L et al
    BMJ Open. 2015 Mar 17;5(3)
     
  19. Rob Kidd

    Rob Kidd Well-Known Member

    I note my comments above from several years ago. I reiterate that there is nothing trivial about this subject. Snigger about its connotations if you must. My son-law's Gran had bound feet and it was not funny. She died just after their wedding (my daughter and son-in-law) about 12 years ago. At the time I was itching to look, but never had the courage to ask - maybe one of my more sensible decisions. I guess that it is in some ways analogous to head binding, though for entirely different reasons. That was not funny either. Odd the way that Homo sapiens looks at deformity......................
     
  20. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Foot Loading Characteristics of Chinese Bound Feet Women: A Comparative Analysis.
    Gu Y, Mei Q, Fernandez J, Li J, Ren X, Feng N
    PLoS One. 2015 Apr 17;10(4):e0121695. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121695
     
  21. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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  22. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Chinese Foot Binding: Radiographic Findings and Case Report.
    Richardson ML.
    Radiol Case Rep. 2016 Oct 4;4(1):270.
     
  23. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

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    Functional adaptation of the calcaneus in historical foot binding.
    Reznikov N et al
    J Bone Miner Res. 2017 May 31. doi: 10.1002/jbmr.3185.
     
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