GGLL-CHC HomeCopyright StatementPhoto RequestContact Us
Wing Luke Museum
:: next previous 

Shoes - Artifacts

Image Shoes
For permission or reproduction for this image, use the photographic application and guidelines here.
Pair of white, center-platform, silk, embroidered shoes. Shoes have an upper edging below which are two rows of machine-stitched wave decoration. Sides and front decorated with embroidered flowers and butterflies in turquoise, pink, lavender, and yellow. Platform is of wood, painted white. Sole has green leather trim. Sole of platform has cloth- covered trim. Center-platform is a wooden block with concave sides fixed to the center of the sole which is thus raised 1.5" above the ground. Hand-made with some machine-sewn parts as in top and rear seams. This unique type of shoe was worn by women of the Manchu Dynasty (c. 1644-1911 AD). It is believed that this shoe "induced a short tripping step which was the mark of a refined woman in old China". Appears to have been Mongolian in origin. The raised sole enabled the Manchu women to gain in stature and dignity over the Chinese women and at the same time enforced a short step without conforming to the painful tradition of foot-binding. It is likely that the prototype was utilitarian, a method of keeping the feet dry in inclement weather on wet bad roads. Eventually became fashionable. Some wear on toe section of soles. Slightly dirty silk.
Object ID