The last bound feet

At the Washington Post:

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Though foot-binding was officially banned in 1912, it continued, and women who endured the painful tradition are still alive today. Photographer Jo Farrell has photographed and interviewed some of the last living Chinese women who suffered foot-binding.

There are photos of women, their shoes, a tray of dumpings – interspersed with close-ups of the underside of their feet, showing just what the binding does.


  1. carlie says

    Here is a video taken 5 years ago of a woman walking with bound feet. I’d always wondered how they got around at all, but apparently they were able to do well enough. Stuff You Missed in History Class also did a podcast episode on it recently.

  2. carlie says

    (for certain values of “well enough”; I had always thought the procedure made them incapable of ever walking at all)

  3. forestdragon says

    I rather suspect that underneath any excuse that might be given for why foot-binding was done, the actual reason was much the same as why Kunta Kinte got half of his foot chopped off in the book/miniseries Roots.

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