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Footbinding

Dorothy Ko

Source: The Berg Companion to Fashion 2010

Encyclopedia entry

The much-maligned practice has often been compared to corsetry as evidence that women were oppressed in cultures East and West, modern and traditional. The comparison is apt albeit for different reasons. The goal of both practices was to modify the female figure with strips of carefully designed and precisely positioned fabric, and in so doing alter the way the wearer projected herself into the world. During its millennium-long history, footbinding acquired various cultural meanings: as a sign of

Footwear

Elizabeth Semmelhack

Source: Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. East Asia 2010

Encyclopedia entry

Traditional footwear in Asia is diverse and reflects historical and cultural developments across this vast region. While most footwear has its origins in the particulars of daily life, such as the rigid-soled boots for northern horse riders using stirrups or rough plaited straw sandals that gave farmers extra traction on wet or slippery surfaces, throughout most societies, decisions about wearing or not wearing footwear, or when to wear it, were determined by other factors, including custom, soci

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