Diana Buckley

Bound Foot
sterling silver
4 x 7.5 x 3.5 in.

“Between Body and Violence” – The practice of enduring violence and pain, mutilation and self-mutilation in the name of fashion can be found in almost every culture and civilization. By the time the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) came into power in China, foot binding began to spread all over. Bound feet became a symbol for social status for women and were often thought as objects for sexual pleasure. Because it went on for centuries, this ideology of a bound foot went beyond the concept of eroticism and the realm of aesthetics, and was treated as a state problem.

Under the bound feet would be inflamed and deteriorated flesh. Mothers call the rebinding (once every two weeks) the breaking process, which lasts about two years in the time in a young girl’s life when she can endure the pain, usually from five to seven years of age. Hence, it is important to think about that this was the value of the time: the more flesh is deteriorated the more bones broken, the more slender the feet.

© Diana Buckley