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The skeleton throws new light on the fotbindning in China

for almost a thousand years ties in China women's feet so that they were difficult to move. New discoveries and research have changed the picture of this brutal tradition.

There are many written stories about the chinese custom to bind women's feet so that they böjdes to the so-called ”lotusformen” – a painful process that had already started when they were five years old and that meant that the women found it difficult to go other than with the small, swaying step. It is usually said that the tradition arose already in the 900's, and that it started as an erotic fetish. Upper class men lit simply at women with small, curved feet. Then spread the tradition slowly released into society.

often, the summary, and there have been few physical findings that shows how the custom really began to spread. It is now to be changed. For example, examined a group of archaeologists led by american Elizabeth Berger examined a burial ground from the Mingdynastins time, which was in use during the years 1400-1600. Of eight women buried there were found in four of them the traces of their feet had been bound. The binding was however not as wide, without involving primarily the toes, folded in under the sole of the foot. According to Elizabeth Berger shows the finding that tradition with fotbindning changed over time, and that the intervention of the young women's feet became more extensive in the period ahead, particularly from the 1700s.

Her study, presented by vetenskapssajten Livescience, links to new research on fotbindningens importance, where several are questioning the idea of the cruel practice in the first place was a matter of sexual charge. Instead of pointing the research in it might have been considerably more pragmatic reasons for during so long time continued with this. Women with bound feet were considered namely, work more diligently, not least when it came to sew, embroider, and weave, which meant that they were more sought after as wives. In the areas where such activities played the major role of the economic was also the proportion of women who had their feet bound considerably higher, while it was lower in the areas where it was more dependent on for example rice cultivation.

Another factor that is highlighted has to do with fotbindning with time began to be seen as a part of the genuine chinese. The manchu conquerors, the Qing dynasty, in the 1700's ruled the country forbade many expressions of traditional culture. But since fotbindning was something that took place in the home, it was difficult to monitor, and could be highlighted as a gesture of symbolic resistance.

conducted campaigns to prohibit the fotbindande, but it was only in the 1940s that the custom formally became illegal. Even in the 1950s there were young girls had their feet bound. In an interview a few years ago told one of them how proud she was that she stood out, with the pain – and that she did it because her mother and grandmother made it before her. She also thought that her feet were very pretty afterwards.

Charles Dickens with his wife Catherine and her sister Mary. Photo: The Art Archive/REX Dickens tried to get his wife on the show

It is long known that the Swedish author Hjalmar Söderberg actively helped to get his wife Pain inmate at a mental hospital in connection with their conflicted divorce. Recently found documents show that another famous writer tried a similar maneuver, but then failed. It is about no less than the classic 1800 famous Charles Dickens. In a collection of letters analysed by professor John Bowen at the university of York describes how Dickens, in 1858, tried to get his wife, Catherine, the birth of their ten children, declared insane. According to Bowen, will it all have failed because the doctor at the local sinnessjukhuset not agreed that she needed medical care.

Adelsmakerskan Ulrika Eleonora. Photo: Universal History Archive/REX so, the queen so many noblemen

In just over a year sounded the Swedish queen Ulrika Eleonora adla not less than 250 people. Historians have previously puzzled over why this rekordadlande happened, but only now have the issue thoroughly investigated. In the book ”Ulrika Eleonora – power and the new nobility 1719-1720” by historians Joakim Scherp and Charlotta Forss lifted several reasons, but particularly stressed that the adlandet was one of the few ways that the queen could exercise power on. Parliament had taken over the actual governance of the country, in protest against the death of Charles XII's disastrous autocracy, which meant that the appointment of the new nobles, who played an important role in the management, was a way for the ruler to maintain its influence


So many years old are the four tatueringsnålar of the bones from the polynesian island of Tonga recently investigated by australian archaeologists. Two of them appeared to be made of human bones.

Read more of Magnus Västerbros historical news here .

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