1900 Chinese Woman’s Slippers for Bound Feet

Mrs. Lee had bound feet her entire life. Her daughter, Grace Mok, noted in an oral history that her limited mobility and difficulty in walking required her to be accompanied wherever she went. Though these are not Ng Shee Lee’s shoes, they are similar to those she wore.
Foot binding in China may have originated as early as 900 AD. Though outlawed by the conquering Manchus in the 17th century, the Han Chinese retained the social practice into the 20th century.
Currently not on view
Object Name
woman's shoe for bound feet
Object Type
date made
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
leather (overall material)
overall: 4 in x 4 in; 10.16 cm x 10.16 cm
place made
Zhonghua: Shanghai Shi, Shanghai
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Family & Social Life
Chinese American
Cultures & Communities
Clothing & Accessories
Chinese American
See more items in
Work and Industry: Agriculture
Chinese American
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Mrs. William Chapin Huntington

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