There are a number of stories about the origin of foot binding before its establishment during the Song dynasty. They argued that foot binding was important in work, and can be seen as a way by mothers to tie their daughters down, train them in handwork and keep them close at hand. Problems playing this file? In , the new Republic of China government banned foot binding though not actively implemented ,  and leading intellectuals of the May Fourth Movement saw footbinding as a major symbol of China's backwardness. The binding was pulled so tightly that the girl could not move her toes at all and the ends of the binding cloth were then sewn so that the girl could not loosen it. The first European to mention footbinding was the Italian missionary Odoric of Pordenone in the 14th century during the Yuan dynasty. At each pass around the foot, the binding cloth was tightened, pulling the ball of the foot and the heel together, causing the broken foot to fold at the arch, and pressing the toes underneath the sole.
Hattie. Age: 31.
She argued that women, by retaining their small bound feet, made themselves subservient as it would mean women imprisoning themselves indoors.
Amy. Age: 20.
317 14 Year Old Girl Feet stock pictures and images
It was generally an elder female member of the girl's family or a professional foot binder who carried out the initial breaking and ongoing binding of the feet. State University of New York Press. To enable the size of the feet to be reduced, the toes on each foot were curled under, then pressed with great force downwards and squeezed into the sole of the foot until the toes broke.