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Shoes - Artifacts

Image Shoes
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And ivory-colored silk shoe for bound feet. The shoe has a heel of approximately one inch. Blue quilted sole, blue wave-like decoration with black piping and floral embroidery. Traces of orange sawtooth edging to hold inner and outer layers of fabric: most of this has worn away. Hand made. The whole heel section is frayed as well as the lower part all around, silk torn and missing around top front; silk faded and stained throughout. Mate of shoe not in collection. Such tiny shoes were worn by many women of the Han Chinese majority (Western Han: 206 BC - 8 AD, and Eastern Han: 26 AD - 220 AD), who had their feet deformed in childhood. Inside the shoes the feet were kept tightly bound, using a layer of bandages followed by a layer of broad ribbon. This custom was practiced until as late as the 1930's.
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