kyra_cat (kyra_cat) wrote in egl,

A short history of chinese shoes *^^*

I spent christmas day walking around the forbidden palace in beijing, lovely you may say, but what has this got to do with lolita?
Well, not a great deal actually, but i saw some wonderful shoes and thought it may influence some of you to be a bit more creative with your qi-loli footwear, instead of just silk brocade maryjanes.

i think</i> belonged to the infamous cixi (pronounced tsi-see). She's worth a read if you have any interest in this sort of thing, she was the only woman to have control of china, putting her son on the throne as a puppet, she also locked up her nefew, and ordered his favourite concubine to be pushed into a well - great stuff :D but i digress...

The name for these are three-inch golden lotuses, refering both to the shoe with its rising bird head (these are phoenixs), and the women's tiny bound feet - popular at the time. they had wooden heels, bent like a bow, so were also called 'bow shoes'

The next are a pair of manchu shoes i saw at the summer palace (but didn't take a picture, sorry)

amazing heels non?

In the Yuan and Ming dynasties, only noble women were allowed to bind their feet. The tiny bound feet became popular with Manchu women and many Manchu men found the bound foot erotic but in the Ming dynasty, a law was passed to forbid Manchu women from footbinding or marrying Han chinese.
The pedestal bottoms of these shoes forced the aristocratic women to walk in the tiny mincing steps so admired in the woman with bound feet. (and ensured women couldn't move very far or fast said our guide :D)

and i'm done, hope it was interesting!

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