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Three-inch Golden Lotus Museum reopens in Chengdu

Date: 2015.01.19 Editor: Evelyn Shi

After six months’ reconstruction, the ‘Three-inch Golden Lotus’ Museum reopens in Dayi County of Chengdu on Jan 15, 2015, which was once destroyed by a fire last year.


With over 5,000 pairs of "lotus shoes" on display, the museum reveals the thousand-year history of the foot-binding custom of Chinese women. The smallest shoes on display are only 9 centimeters long



Three-inch Golden Lotus refers to the ‘ideal’ length (three inches long) of a perfect foot of young girls and women in ancient China. Bound feet are regarded as “lotus”. In ancient times, girls began to bind their feet at the age of five or six. They were often forced to bind feet by the mothers or the grandmothers. Ignoring the crying of their daughters or granddaughters, they usually used the long cloth to bind the toes to the arch. The binding even involved breaking the arch of the foot.


The custom of foot binding not only reflects the unique aesthetic standards of ancient China, but also represents that at that time, men are more superior to women. Therefore, women had no choice but to conform to meet some ideal image of what a man preferred.