Monday, June 9, 2014

The Last Bound Feet in China

More than 100 years after the centuries-old practice of foot binding was banned in China, these are some of the last living women who were subjected to the practice as children. Once a symbol of beauty and status, foot binding, also known as lotus feet, was carried out in China since the 10th century, falling out of favour in the early 20th century before it was outlawed in 1911. Now the last remaining women to have their feet painfully bound in order to prevent growth have been photographed as part of a photography project celebrating their lives.

The pictures of women, now aged in their 80s and 90s after foot binding continued in rural areas until around 1939, were taken by Hong Kong-based photographer Jo Farrell, who has launched a Kickstarter fund to complete her project. The women photographed are all peasant farmers living and working in rural areas, far away from the city life where foot binding was used as a display of social status, as wealthy women who did not need to work would have their feet bound.

All photo credit: Joe Farrell and taken from the DailyMail

Other photos of Chinese foot binding can be found here, here or here

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