Women's Feet in China.
A native Chinese journal, discussing the practice of cramping ladies' feet, says that in 1664 the great and enlightened Emperor Kanghsi issued an edict forbidding it under heavy penalties', and calling upon all local officials to suppress the custom. But four years later, on the advice of the Board of Ceremonies, he withdrew the edict, and left the ladiej free to follow their own tastes. The origin of the strange custom seems to be loßt in obscurity. In the eighth century of oar era the wife of an Emperor of the Tang
I dynasty is said to have worn shoes only 3in long j and one theory assigns the practice to the fourth oentury, a.d., "when Pan Fei danced before the last of the sovereigns of the Tsi dynasty, and every footstep made a lily grow." It is also said that it originated in the tenth century, when a beautiful concubine of one of the Emperora " tied up her feet with silk into the shape of the orescent moon, and all the other beauties of the time imitated her." The older poets make no referenoe to the cramped foot, but sing of the beauty of the snow-white feet of the woman of their times, when the foot gear, when it was worn, was square-toed for men and round-toed for women. The native writer thinks the custom was progressive, and only gradually attained its present pitch. In the two southern provinces it is universal, but in many places women's feet are of the natural size.
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Women's Feet in China., Evening Star, Issue 8045, 23 October 1889
Women's Feet in China. Evening Star, Issue 8045, 23 October 1889
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