Foot binding, 缠足, is the antique custom of traditional Chinese society of binding the feet of girls painfully tight to prevent further growth (lotus feet).
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” The practice likely originated among court dancers in the early Song dynasty, but spread to upper-class families and eventually became common among all classes. Even in the lower class families of Canton in the late 19th century, for example, it was usual to bind the feet of the eldest daughter, who was intended to be brought up as a lady (…) Bound feet were once considered intensely erotic in Chinese culture, and a woman with perfect lotus feet was likely to make a more prestigious marriage. Qing Dynasty sex manuals listed 48 different ways of playing with women’s bound feet. Some men preferred never to see a woman’s bound feet, so they were always concealed within tiny “lotus shoes” and wrappings.” (Wikipedia)
Last picture from Library of the Congress
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