Foot Binding

EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
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#1
I can't locate any substantive posts - much less a thread - on this practice, so I'm starting a dedicated thread.

Foot binding was the custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to modify the shape and size of their feet. It was practiced in China from the Tang dynasty until the early 20th century, and bound feet were considered a status symbol as well as a mark of beauty. Foot binding was a painful practice and significantly limited the mobility of women, resulting in lifelong disabilities for most of its subjects. Feet altered by binding were called lotus feet.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foot_binding

Foot-Bind-ca-1900.jpg

See Also:

Why Footbinding Persisted in China for a Millennium
Despite the pain, millions of Chinese women stood firm in their devotion to the tradition
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-footbinding-persisted-china-millennium-180953971/
 
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EnolaGaia

I knew the job was dangerous when I took it ...
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#2
The study of the practice's skeletal evidence and effects is a relatively recent development.

Ming Dynasty Skeletons Reveal Secrets of Foot-Binding
Foot-binding was practiced for about 1,000 years in China. The memory of this practice is preserved in historical documents, shoes found in graves of the elite and the testimonies of a dwindling number of women with bound feet who survive today.

But only in recent years have archaeologists looked at skeletons with bound feet to learn more about the women who experienced this extreme form of body modification.

Elizabeth Berger, a postdoctoral fellow in Chinese studies at the University of Michigan, had been working on an archaeological excavation at the site of Yangguanzhai near Xi'an in China's Shaanxi Province. The archaeological team, led by Liping Yang of the Shaanxi Archaeological Academy, was primarily interested in a Neolithic village buried there; they unexpectedly found an overlaying cemetery from a much later era, the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and they salvaged the graves. ...

"I was looking at the bones and I noticed that there was something very strange about the feet," Berger told Live Science. "My first thought was that it might be foot-binding, and I started to look into it and found that at that point there hadn't been many publications on what the bones of foot-bound feet actually look like, although there was a lot of research on the history of it." ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/64849-foot-bound-skeletons-china.html
 
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