||12 Black and White photographs incl. weaving, bound feet taken in China
A: Chinese woman sitting on the left hand side of the photo with her right hand resting on the threads of a wooden loom, 3 x 3.875"
B: Two men sitting at their simple bamboo looms resting on the ground. Behind them stretches the completed cloth and in front of them the warp threads are stretched out. Behind them are several children and men sitting and standing by the wall of a building, 4.125 x 5.75"
C i: Photograph of the back view of a woman spinning wool, sitting on a board on the ground, holding the spindle which rests in a small bowl. She pulls the wool from a basket to her right. Her hair is braided into 3 braids and a piece of cloth goes over the top of her head and down the sides. Four women and one child are sitting on the ground watching her.
C ii: Paper label originally adhered to the back of the photograph, black printing, "WOOL SPINNING (at Paotouchan) In Suiyuan Province and, for that matter, in all Mongolia, bas woven of wool yarn are used in place of gunnies. They are much stronger and more durable. The picture gives a scene in one of the back streets at Paotouchen in the warm Indian summer sun, with no wind to chill the air. It shows how wool yarn is spun for weaving material. The natives will also manufacture rugs by primitive process. In primaeval life, needles to state, animals' hair used to be employed for spinning and weaving purposes before cotton. (No. 1, Volume VII)"
D: Back view of men and women standing on the curb by an outdoor market. Most of the people are wearing large conical hats. One woman carries a hand basket and two women have large baskets tied on their backs. 4.25" x 6". Label with black printing on the back "WOMEN IN SEDGE HATS (at Tali in Yunnan Province) Womenfolk about Tali make a point of wearing sedge-hats whenever they go abroad. The colour of the ribbons hanging from the inside of the hat to fasten it by tying them under the chin is selected according to the wearer's whims. Such a fancy catches damsels of eligible ages elsewhere, too. In Japan, a like erotic sentiment is shown among farm girls in sedge-hats transplanting young rice blades in the paddy fields with the frogs croaking loudly therein in early summer."
E: Pair of bound feet seen from the soles with bindings off, 4.25 x 6". Label adhered to back "NAKED BOUND FEET (the soles) As stated elsewhere, it is an accepted theory that foot-binding originated in the gay quarter. An appeal to man's muscular protection of a hobbling frail thing was calculated to wrench a liberal tip. In China the hedonists count a high living and lust as luxuries not to be parted with, and naturally those fetishists become unnaturally attached to an ornament, underwear, socks and petticoats that have been in contact with a feminine person. It will be not far from wrong to associate the custom of foot-binding with fetishism. (No. 101-3)"
F: Pair of bound feet and legs, left crossed over right, seen below the knees and from the side with bindings off. 4.25 x 6". Label adhered to back "NAKED BOUND FEET (from the side) The bound feet in a Chinese woman are not only for the sake of their graceful curves, but many say that it is also to make walking more difficult to their owner so as to discourage her being abroad. From a medical study a result of the bound feet is said to develop the hips splendidly, adding still another weird charm. There are besides a few more mysteries enveloping the strange custom that do not permit of print (No. 101-4)". Another label for a photograph not included in the collection reads "WASHING THE BOUND FEET Bound with cloth all the year round, a Chinese woman's feet need frequent washing, the operation being conducted as shown in the accompanying picture. This operation is carried on in the strictest privacy, no male other than a child being permitted to be nearby. Even the husband, when she has one, is not privileged to witness the ablution, for the exposure of the bare feet is held as a shame. This will give an idea of what precious little time those crumpled feet can come in contact with free air, and how badly they must stand in need of a thorough cleaning. (No. 101-5)"
G: Middle aged Chinese woman with hair pulled back from her face, wearing dark pants and boots and a lighter Chinese style jacket with sleeves full at the wrist, high collar and asymmetrical closing. She stands on a wood(?) floor. Behind her is a door with a window on either side. 4.25 x 6". Label adhered to back "BOUND FEET OF ELDERLY CHINESE WOMAN Foot-binding will conjure up a Chinese woman. The way a Chinese girl toddles along on her tiny bound feet must remind a Chinese passer by with the irresistible charms credited to the famous beauty, Princess Yang-kuai, one of the many mistresses of Emperor Hsuantsung of the Tang Dynasty. This unnatural custom has been in vogue among the Hans, the natives of China proper and is regarded as one of the feminine attractions. A woman, however handsome of face, with her natural feet, is locked upon as a disgrace to her parents. It was the upshot of worship of small feet. At present, in China law forbids footbinding instances of which are met with among elderly women and rustic damsels only. In short, the custom of foot-binding is passing off, but there still remains the praise of small feet in a woman. (No. 101-1)"
H: Lower half of seated woman wrapping her bare feet with a long white cloth, legs crossed, 4.25 x 6". Label adhered to back "HOW THE FEET ARE BOUND After the ablution, the feet are well dried, and then they are bound tightly with strips of white cotton cloth. One may easily imagine what comfort the woman or the girl may feel after the washing operation is over. The feet are classified into seven kinds, each bearing a separate name. This unique custom was in the commonest vogue in China in the latter days of the Manchu Dynasty. (No. 101-6)" Note: Unlike Han women, Manchu women did not have bound feet.
I: Two silk brocade slippers with dark decorative bands held in two hands, 4.25 x 6". Label adhered to back "SIZE OF WOMEN'S SHOES Here are a pair of girl's shoes on girl's palms. As one may easily measure their size, these shoes do not belong to a child, but to a grown-up woman. The picture will give a good idea of how small the shoes are. It is often mentioned in literature casting sidelights on the inside life of the red-light quarter that these shoes are often used for cups to drink liquor from. There is indeed a poetical term "Chinlienpei" (literally translated "gold lotus cup"). It is readily understood that the shoes are made so much of because of the feet on which they have been worn. (No. 101-9). Another label on the back referring to a missing photograph reads "PUBLIC EXHIBITION OF TINY FEET At Tatung in Shantung Province on the 6th day of the Sixth Moon by the old Chinese calendar, each year, there is held a unique show of tiny feet by the unmarried girls. These girls appear on this occasion in their holiday garbs and squat in front of their homes to exhibit their feet to the scrutiny of the critical male eyes. The street will be jammed with a thick procession of people whose curiosity is on keen edge. In fact, it will be hard for any of them to look back. They say that many marriage proposals ensue to the public exhibition of the maiden feet. (No. 101-8)"
J: Glass case inside a store with rows of Chinese shoes, boxes stored above and below, 4.25 x 6". Label adhered to the back "THE PICTURE GIVES THE SHOW-WINDOW OF A CHINESE WOMEN'S SHOE-STORE As above indicated, in a woman, the movements of the hands and feet play a most important part in expression of their owners' feeling and mood that change with a fickleness hard to follow. A beauty in distress is often likened to the aronia flowers pattered down by the rain in Chinese literature. Recently, the dainty lines of beautiful female legs and feet are being made much of in the Occident no less than in the Orient. On this account, in getting up a show-window display for a Chinese women's foot-wear, particular pains is taken to make the pedestrians pause and gaze at the exhibition. Indeed, the sample shoes decorated with embroideries and patterns make up a spectacle cheery to look at. At all events, the bound feet and "Chinlien" (women's shoes) wear a mystic fascination to male Chinese. (No. 101-10)".
K: Man in foreground in white pants, no shirt, black shoes bends over a frame holding a number of wooden yarn winders around which is wound white thread. A man in the background wearing a tall hat and a Chinese jacket stands behind a table and he is winding white thread on a large yarn winder. There are several objects on the ground, a jacket hanging on the corner of the table and a tree in the background. 5.5 x 3.375".
L: Chinese woman on the left wears a light colored robe with an asymmetrical closing, a dark panel skirt and bound foot shoes. She holds her left hand with twisting long fingernails out in front of her. The girl next to her wears a light colored tunic and pants. They are sitting on stools in front of some steps.
M: Three Chinese woman stand around a small tree; they wear padded jackets and are standing in front of a stone wall.