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There had been attempts to end the practice during the Qing dynasty; Manchu Kangxi Emperor tried to ban foot binding in 1664 but failed.In the later part of the 19th century, Chinese reformers challenged the practice but it was not until the early 20th century that foot binding began to die out as a result of anti-foot-binding campaigns.Foot binding was the custom of applying tight binding to the feet of young girls to modify the shape of their feet.It was practiced in China from the Song dynasty until the early 20th century, and bound feet were considered a status symbol as well as a mark of beauty.

We were in danger of becoming like the larger sites, thinking that "one size could fit all".Each had her feet bound with 6-foot-long gauze strips.Zhou's skeleton was well preserved and showed that her feet fit the narrow, pointed slippers that were buried with her.The style of bound feet found in Song dynasty tombs, where the big toe was bent upwards, appears to be different from the norm of later eras, and the excessive smallness of the feet, the "three-inch golden lotus", may be a later development in the 16th century.At the end of the Song dynasty, men would drink from a special shoe whose heel contained a small cup.

During the Yuan dynasty, some would also drink directly from the shoe itself.

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