Sunday, February 08, 2015

Golden Lotuses

Besides the wau bulan kites, another display that caught my attention at the People's Museum in Melaka was of the lotus shoes. I had first read about this Chinese practice when reading the excellent book Snowflower and the Secret Fan. Looking at these tiny but beautifully embroidered silk shoes, it was difficult to imagine that an ideal size of an adult female - known as a golden lotus -  was around 3 inches in length. What pain these young girls and women must have endured - often at the hands of their own mother! Such dainty feet were highly desirable and could enable even non-wealthy girls to marry into much higher status homes.
Although the animal head on the pink shoes above is likely a bat (a Chinese symbol of good fortune), it reminds me of a mouse. 

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