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Chinese silk womens ankle covers or leggings, 1900 - 1904
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Object statement
Ankle covers / leggings (pair), womens, silk / linen / metal, China, early 1900s
These red satin embroidered ankle covers or leggings were worn to cover swollen ankles caused by the Chinese practice of binding the feet. The covers hung over the feet and were fastened with ties around the calf, with the trouser legs tucked inside the leggings.

The custom of foot-binding that inhibited natural growth of the foot was an extremely painful process that resulted in a tiny, deformed foot known as a lotus foot. Foot binding was an important aspect of Chinese culture from around 950 AD. The practice was prohibited in the early 20th century. Until that time, tiny feet were highly desirable as they represented status and beauty. In a male dominated society bound feet also kept women submissive as they could not walk very far with bound feet unaided.

The ankle covers have cultural and historical significance as they relate to the once widely accepted Chinese custom of foot-binding and are an important addition to the MuseumÂ?s specialist collection of footwear.
Purchased by donor in Hong Kong in 1996

 This text content licensed under CC BY-NC.

Pair of red silk ankle covers [leggings] featuring embroidered floral motifs worked in satin stitch in pink, yellow, green, teal and purple silk thread and gold metal wrapped thread. A band of green woven ribbon trim has been applied in the centre of the covers and they are lined in bright pink linen.
No marks.
Production date
1900 - 1904
210 mm
145 mm

 This text content licensed under CC BY-SA.
Acquisition credit line
Gift of Roger Grellman, 2007
+ Foot binding
+ Chinese culture
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Concise link back to this object: https://ma.as/363387
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{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/363387 |title=Chinese silk womens ankle covers or leggings |author=Powerhouse Museum |accessdate=23 February 2017 |publisher=Powerhouse Museum, Australia}}

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Object viewed times. Parent IRN: 2131. Master IRN: 2131 Img: 170953 Flv: H:3807px W:5254px SMO:0 RIGHTS:.