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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - American journal of public health
Title Consequences of foot binding among older women in Beijing, China.
Volume 87
Issue 10
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1997
Page numbers 1677-1679
URL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1381134/pdf/amjph00509-0103.pdf
The practice of foot binding began in
the Sung dynasty (AD 960-1280) in
China, reportedly to imitate an imperial
concubine who was required to dance
with her feet bound.' By the 12th century,
the practice was widespread and more
severe: feet were bound so tightly and so
early in life that women were unable to
dance and had difficulty walking.1 2 When
a girl was about 3 years old, all but the
first toe on each foot were broken and the
feet bound with cloth strips that were
tightened over the course of 2 years to
keep the feet shorter than 10 cm and to
bend the sole into extreme concavity
(Figure 1). Foot binding ceased in the
20th century with the end of imperial
dynasties and the increasing influence of
Westem fashion. As the practice waned,
some girls' feet were released after initial
binding, leaving less severe deformities.
The prevalence and consequences of
foot-binding deformity have never been
studied. We studied foot-binding deformibe
19 7-..7.N
ties as part of a study of osteoporosis in
older women in Beijing

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