1900 Chinese Woman’s Slippers for Bound Feet

1900 Chinese Woman’s Slippers for Bound Feet

Usage conditions apply
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
place made
China: Shanghai, Shanghai
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
leather (overall material)
overall: 4 in x 4 in; 10.16 cm x 10.16 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Mrs. William Chapin Huntington
Chinese American
See more items in
Work and Industry: Agriculture
Cultures & Communities
Clothing & Accessories
Family & Social Life
Chinese American
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object