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Random Pics Of Old China

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#21
This is an extremely thorough account of Old China. It is extremely difficult to find any more of these pictures nowadays, as many of them are lost and less preserved. It's nice to be able to see these pictures, I've been looking for pictures of Old China for a while.
 

ralphrepo

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#22
This is an extremely thorough account of Old China. It is extremely difficult to find any more of these pictures nowadays, as many of them are lost and less preserved. It's nice to be able to see these pictures, I've been looking for pictures of Old China for a while.
One of the biggest assets to the preservation of old images has been the computer and digitization. Initially, the problem was that you could not get resolution high enough, but now with cameras and scanners going up in megapixel counts that seems a problem solved. Further, this growth of digitization has unlocked a wave of private collections and has allowed the world to see them for the first time. I was recently looking at a trove of personal pictures taken by an American serviceman who was posted to Yunnan near the war end of the war (circa 1945). These pictures were sitting in his private album for years, and were only recently scanned and posted on Flickr by one of his descendants. Without digitization, computers, and the internet, those pictures would have remained locked in the old soldier's album. Even if the latter generation would have wanted to allow the world to see them, it would have been cost prohibitive to have them privately copied and then reprinted in published form, like a book of actual photographic reprints. Digitization too, has not only allowed easy public access to personal images, but to photo repositories for the first time. Photographs locked up in museums can now be searched for and found via their web sites also. You no longer have to actually set foot into a gallery or buy a book to see the picture.

Many today may not realize how lucky they are when it comes to this type of access, but for me (an amatuer historian) the computer is probably the best thing to ever happen in my lifetime (well, except for maybe Mrs. Ralph). How I envy the young, those with their time measured in score (and not simple short years) that can really make use of this. Anyways, I'm glad you like them. I'll keep posting them as I find them.
 

ralphrepo

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#23
Another famous image from the LIFE Magazine Google Archives taken by Life Magazine staffer Joseph Scherschel. It shows the release of Chinese prisoners of war that had been captured by United Nations forces during the war in Korea. These particular prisoners had decided not to return to the People's Republic of China, but instead chose to go to Taiwan to join Chiang Kai-Shek's Koumingtang army (Chiang Kai-Shek had been defeated in 1949 by the communists in China, and had retreated to Taiwan, establishing a stronghold there).

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x73/ralphrepo/PopularAsians/Thereleasingofanti-Communistprisone.jpg


Entitled The releasing of anti-Communist prisoners [1954] Taken in Korea by Joseph Schershel. I did the usual spotting, increased the contrast, and got rid of the annoying LIFE logo.

The repatriation of prisoners became a contentious political issue that dragged the war on for nearly two more years. Approximately 6000 Chinese were returned to the PRC, while 14,000 chose go to Taiwan instead. Recently however, historians have found intense arguments of coercion on both sides of the issue. That is, some may have chosen either destination based more on extreme duress by other prisoners than by actual personal choice. Deaths in the POW camps were routine with factional fighting. Former KMT Chinese, along with anti-communist Koreans would battle against pro-communist Chinese and Korean prisoners. In one nine month period, over eight hundred prisoners died from infighting in one camp alone. To this day, there remains a tremendous amount of unresolved charges and counter charges by both sides related to ill treatment of prisoners and claims of the violation of established law or treaties.
 

ralphrepo

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#24
Lieutenant Elsie Chin Yuen Seetoo was born and raised in Stockton, California. As a teenager in the 1930's, she emigrated to China when her father decided to retire from the US and relocate the whole family back to his roots. Seetoo was completing her training to be a nurse in Hong Kong, but was caught up in the war years when Japanese troops sweep across much of Asia. Escaping from Japanese occupied territory, she initially joined the war effort as a Chinese Red Cross medical relief worker, and later assisted with the medical training of Chinese troops staging in India. Thereafter, she returned to the US, and upon receiving her officer's commission within the US army nurse corps, went back to China. She then spent the remaining years of the war helping to save lives in Kunming, Chendu, and Shanghai, before being discharged in 1946 back onto American soil. Her personal bio provides a read that is more interesting and exciting than many adventure novels.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x73/ralphrepo/PopularAsians/ElsieSeetooKunmingYunnanProvinceChi.jpg


Entitled Elsie Seetoo, in uniform, pauses on a road outinside Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, in July 1944 Photographer unknown. I retouched out spots, elevated the contrast a bit, and added a sepia tone. The title is a link to the original image.

Many Chinese Americans answered the call when China was in need of war time assistance by contribution of money for relief efforts. Rare were those Chinese men that actually donned a uniform and returned in a military capacity. Rarer still was that of any Chinese woman going back, much less wearing a military uniform. To be sure, her story is an integral part of China's history. It is a tale that not only stands tall but one that later generations should recall with pride.
 

"Billy"

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#25
Thank you for such interesting thead and photos, I certainly will keep pop back from time to time to check it out.
Thanks again.
 

ralphrepo

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#27
Thank you for such interesting thead and photos, I certainly will keep pop back from time to time to check it out.
Thanks again.
Good work on the effort you are putting into this thread Ralph! (Y)
Glad everyone is enjoying this as much as I. If it sparks a heightened interest in Chinese history that wasn't there before, then I'm even more gratified ;)
 

ralphrepo

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#28
George Ernest Morrison was certainly not the only western origin photographer of imperial China, but he was definitely one of the most remembered. The bulk of his extensive body of work in albums and photographs have survived to this day. One of his best works, An Australian In China can be easily net accessed and remains a delightful invitation to late 1800's China. Additionally, his personal library holdings of books that he collected in China subsequently became the basis of the Oriental Library of Tokyo (otherwise known as Tōyō Bunko 東洋文庫) one the world's five largest and premiere libraries on Chinese culture.

What is even more important, and perhaps lesser appreciated, is that Morrison, a trained medical doctor but then working as a journalist, also happened to be in the right place at the right time. He personally witnessed and recorded many of the images of the tumult during the Boxer Rebellion, as he too was trapped within the Peking foreign legations during their nearly two month holdout. Though he had begun the siege as only the Peking correspondent for the Times newspaper; by his directness, force of personality and natural leadership ability, became an active and commanding participant in the defense of the legation quarter. Wounded in battle, had he been officially in uniform, his bravery and actions would have certainly merited commendation or military award.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x73/ralphrepo/PopularAsians/a1006072hedit001QingCourtReturnTheE.jpg


Entitled Qing Court Return 1902 The Empress Dowager [1902] by George E. Morrison. (Title is link to original unretouched photograph) I did the usual spotting, contrast adjustment, and sepia tone.

This is a fascinating and perhaps rare and unique photograph. For those that don't remember the story of the Boxer Rebellion; suffice it to say that the Qing court, in 1900, after it's defeat by foreign troops, fled Beijing (then called Peking) into the interior of China. Once it was firmly established that the foreign governments were willing to allow the Manchu emperor to return without fear of reprisal (as the foreign powers needed someone local, but servile, to be in charge of the populace) the Qing court re-ensconced itself back into the Imperial city with pompous celebration. Morrison was on hand to record the parade of Qing royals and their "triumphant" return into the Chinese capital from their supposed 'inspection tour' of the countryside.

In accordance with ceremonial pomp, all military around the world have traditional postures or stances, to signal their encounter with an honored dignitary or a high official. In this case, the imperial soldiers were acknowledging the passing by of the Empress Dowager's sedan chair. What is so interesting about this photograph then, is the western military posture of 'present arms' combined with the typical Chinese or Asian posture of genuflection (at the bended knee) displayed by the Qing troops lining the road. The soldier in the foreground, whose legs are concealed, does not reveal this, however closer examination of the troops (across the road) beyond the haze of road dust, clearly shows saluting Chinese soldiers on their knees.

This curious amalgam was probably short lived, and in many ways was perhaps emblematic of the dilemma and indecisions of Qing China. That is, they were eager to adopt the many new things of the west, but were still reluctant to discard the trappings and traditions of the old.

In all my years of looking at military images, I can't recall ever having seen another instance where soldiers presented a salute with both western style and eastern style honors combined. A remarkable and striking photograph.
 

ralphrepo

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#29
One of the undeniable silver linings to the religious missionary incursions into the Chinese interior is the fact that, if there was one thing these 'foreign devils' were good at, it was certainly photography. It is because of this that we have such a huge body of social photographs that, in all likelihood, never would have been taken at all. Granted, official photographers may have been hired for special government events (at government expense), but simple slice of life types of pictures like the one below, never would have occurred.

The University of Southern California's Internet Mission Archive is a general repository for images that were taken by a wide range of sectarian religious missions around the world. A short description from their opening page:

The Internet Mission Photography Archive offers historical images from Protestant and Catholic missionary collections in Britain, Norway, Germany, and the United States. The photographs, which range in time from the middle of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, offer a visual record of missionary activities and experiences in Africa, China, Madagascar, India, Papua-New Guinea, and the Caribbean. The photographs reveal the physical influence of missions, visible in mission compounds, churches, and school buildings, as well as the cultural impact of mission teaching, religious practices, and Western technology and fashions. Indigenous peoples' responses to missions and the emergence of indigenous churches are represented, as are views of landscapes, cities, and towns before and in the early stages of modern development.


Entitled Bride On Her Way To Wedding Fuzhou Fujian China [c1911-1913] by Ralph G. Gold (title is link to original unretouched image). Photograph was spotted, contrast added, scratches and other defects retouched out, and sepia tone added.

When I first laid eyes on this picture, I was laughing so hard that my sides hurt. Then immediately afterwards, I felt really ashamed of myself. The basket was used to obscure the bride's face in lieu of a veil. It was customary to not allow anyone to see the bride until she was secure in her new husband's home.

Well, no one ever said that history can't be humorous along with it being educational.
 

ralphrepo

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#30
Milton M. Miller was an American photographic businessman.

Active from the 1850 through the 1870's, he spent a few years of the 1860's running a photography salon in Hong Kong, specializing in studio portraiture. He catered to both foreign and well to do Chinese. A few pictures (such as the one below) of the Guangzhou area (then called Canton) were attributed to him, but were possibly made by someone else as he was known to market the images of others as well as his own. He had acquired many images of Beijing (then called Peking) made by Felice Beato, and would sell those alongside his own photographs. He is also said to have been hired to record images of Chinese patients that eventually went into medical texts.

Miller was also known to have eschewed taking landscapes and focused instead on portraits, which would further disqualify him from being the source of the photo below. Additionally, the photo was supposedly from the 1880's. That alone would remove Miller as the creator as he is thought to have stopped working after the 1870's. Still, the photograph of the Canton waterfront was so beautiful that it was worth putting up, regardless of it's origins (some suspect John Thomson, a photography rival that actually made light of Miller's approach to portraits; or more likely Fong Alai (var. Ah Fong), a highly productive local Chinese known for his exceptional photographic skill that was on par with the best western shuttermen of those times).



Entitled Canton circa 1880-1890 attributed to Milton M. Miller but most likely taken by someone else. The picture was surprisingly not in need of much repair (Original behind spoiler) The contrast was adjusted up a bit, and I lightened and evened the tones of the sky.


Many of these boats are obviously beached on the banks at the side of the river. Further, if one explores the prevailing body of images the Canton water milieu seems to be filled with sampans everywhere. It looks so crowded in the water that one has to wonder how these boats were able to be moved at all. From what I've read in the literature, it was not at all surprising to see several generations at once, that is, entire families live their whole lives on these boats that seldom went anywhere. Further, fire seemed to the the periodic and catastrophic malady that struck such sampan farms.
 

ralphrepo

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#31
William Henry Jackson was most famous as one of the last US Civil War soldiers to pass on, living to a ripe old age of 99 years. While he was alive though, he didn't just sit on his laurels. He was also well known for his extensive and remarkable photographic records of the American west when it was still wild and full of Indians that took scalps (natives that killed you and then took your hair as a trophy). While working for the government, he was tasked to travel with the World Transportation Commission, and had journeyed to China between 1894-1896. In that short period, he was able to take some excellent photographs that still fills a viewer with awe. His extensive collection, including photos from his Asian and Pacific tour, resides at the William Henry Jackson Collection at the Historical Photograph Archives of Brigham Young University.



Entitled Pekin, Walls of the Tartar City [c1894-1896] By W.H. Jackson [RESTORED]. (A small low resolution version of the unrestored original can be seen behind the spoiler) The photograph was pretty faded and needed extensive contrast adjustment to make more details visible. The bottom left corner was repaired, and a large spot of mold (?) seen on the upper right of the original, was retouched out. I then added a sepia tone.


The photograph conveys a majesty that is rarely seen, even by today's standards. The huge tower and extensive wall, receding as far as they eye can see, somehow belied the fact that the imperial government was really just a shadow of its former self. In a few short years, the Qing dynasty, despite those powerful walls, would literally cease to exist. China would choose to dispose of its monarchy and become a republic.
 

ralphrepo

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#32
I saw an interesting link on Flickr (Yahoo's extensive photo sharing network) and was immediately thankful that I clicked on it. Jumping right out at me, was the kind of history that we can only see on Chinese period dramas (like those on TVB). Again, on line photo sharing networks have revolutionized the access that plain folks like us can avail ourselves of. Hidden in old documents, books, private as well as public collections are probably an untold number of pictures that show Chinese history as it happened. It is personally gratifying for me to see that other lovers of history through its images have taken their personal time to scan and make these 'locked' photos available to the world at large.

The Original Photo reportedly was found on an errant page from an old German photographic album, and was privately scanned and generously posted by Flickr member Ookami_Dou (his Flickr site is a trove of such images and anyone with even a passing interest in Chinese and Far Eastern history should take the time to review his collection).

Tsingtao, then home to a very large German concession between the 1890's until the first world war (when the Germans were defeated and ultimately driven out by the Japanese), produced a tremendous amount of photographic records.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x73/ralphrepo/PopularAsians/OfficialsProcessionTsingtaoChinac19.jpg


Entitled Chinese Procession [c1900] by an unknown photographer [RESTORED]. The photo was reportedly found in an album with other photographs noted to be from the Tsingtao (now Qingdao) area of China. I cleaned up a few spots, adjusted the contrast and evened the tones of the sky. I also removed a hand written number "B48" that was evident close to the mid right border.

This imperial procession is complete with the de rigueur commands of the court, warning all who see the procession to BE QUIET and to GET BACK.

This picture is a gem. These were the typical commands demanding respect from the local populace who may have encounter the passing procession of a Qing high official. The Officer may have just been newly appointed; that is, an imperial court candidate recently passing the rigorous exam is now returning home from the ordeal; or perhaps he is arriving at his newly assigned post. Either way, this was done with a pompous fanfare that was appropriate to his high government status. It might also have been a court official making an annual inspection tour of the surrounding countryside within his jurisdiction. These men were judges with often absolute power over the lives and fortunes of all those within their purview. Of course this meant that they were unfortunately subject to rampant corruption.

The elaborate or well decorated Palanquin sedan chair most likely enclosed the officer, while the less ornate one bore his spouse, or perhaps a close and valued underling. The personnel in the middle, with the gongs and trumpets, would play loudly to announce the presence or arrival of His Honor, while the placards in the front of the procession would demand that everyone else shut up and get out of his way. Perhaps not much has changed in the last century after all?

Regardless, for me, this is really an exciting find.
 

ralphrepo

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#34
Speaking of Imperial Exam candidates taking their exams, here's another photo from the Sidney Gamble Collection, that shows the extensive number of exam stalls that hosted candidates during the exams.

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x73/ralphrepo/PopularAsians/gamble_300A_1718edit002QingExaminat.jpg


Entitled Examination Hall, Nanjing Shi, Jiangsu Province, China [c1917-1919] by S.Gamble [RESTORED] (the title is the link to the original unrestored photo) I removed most of the spot and scratches, evened the sky, and added a sepia tone.

China's imperial exams were famous (or some say infamous). Not only was it a way for poor or regular folks to attain recognition, it became an important aspect of the social fabric that helped to strengthen Chinese society into a cohesive culture with similar values across a wide swath of territory. Many historians believe that it was because of the compelling interests in the exams, people in Chinese society collectively aligned themselves with its representative ideals. In effect, this formed and became a backbone for Chinese civilization that remains evident to this day.

Exam candidates were subjected to grueling ordeals during the test. For the written portion, they were expected to eat and sleep in those tiny enclosures, along with taking the test. The photo above shows the extensive number of stalls, despite their state of ill repair, in just one test area (Nanjing) alone. The total count in Guangzhou reportedly numbered 7500 cubicles. Eventually, the exam process was considered archaic and backward, falling into ill repute. The Qing government then moved to abolish it in 1905, and had planned to replace it with a more forward looking system. However, before that was done, the dynasty fell, and was itself replaced by a republican government.
 

ralphrepo

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#37
Herbert George Ponting (1870-1935) is perhaps best known for his extensive photography in Antarctica. However, during his less known travels around Asia in the beginning of the 1900's he also contributed significantly to the body of historical Chinese images that we have today. Working as a free lancer for various magazine and stereoscope companies he recorded many of daily aspects of Chinese life that one would encounter on an average Chinese street corner of the times (1901 - 1906). Much of Ponting's work in China has been attributed to other companies who presumably used him for hire (in terms of creative origin, a legal distinction), thereby giving the paying company (and not the photographer) the copyright.

Sidebar: Ponting's Antarctica collection can be viewed at the above link (his name) via the Royal Geographic Society. However be forewarned that the images there are not only dishearteningly small; they're also heavily and obviously watermarked. If you want a good clear image, you have to pay them for it. This tells me that (as an organization) they're more worried about preventing people from getting a good image for free than they are in preserving the history by making it widely available. I seriously detest "historians" that behave like that. It's bad enough that the world is so commercialized; must we also commercialize our history? By withholding our heritage in hopes of generating cash flow, we collectively risk lost interest and the history itself eventually becomes dead and forgotten.



Original title uncertain. I have seen this pictue referred to with many different names and variation of annotations. The only thing that we know with reasonable accuracy was that it was taken of a Chinese man, presumably a prisoner, in 1902 by Ponting working for one of the many stereo image companies of the day. So I will simply refer to this as Cangued Prisoner, China [1902] HE Ponting [RESTORED]. The image was one of a pair of stereo images. Spot retouched, tone balanced, and contrast adjusted.

China was not the only civilization in history that used pillories or stocks, but is perhaps (fairly or not) best remembered for its use of the Cangue. The word itself is French but comes from a variation of Portuguese for a word meaning Yoke; in Chinese it is simply called 木枷 or 枷鎖. The device was used as a punishment, with variations of size, weight and duration dependent upon the crime. Sometimes, the condemned were cangued to provide a suitable period of prelude torture before their scheduled execution. Further, the physical parameters of a cangue made it nearly impossible for a prisoner to feed him or herself. Thus, unless a prisoner was hand fed by family members or sympathetic passerby, they risked starvation too.

In the photo above the two vertical labels attests to the name of the civil authority that imposed the punishment, in this case the 都統衙門 (Do-Tung Yamen, or Government Office, the closest approximation today would be a Court). The date of enactment, 四月二十一日 (April 21st, year not stated).

The photos are great, where did you find them? Keep up with the good works.
wow...its like nite and day compare to the photos of today....
Glad people are enjoying them, and I found all of these on the internet with simple searches. Yes, the technical limitations of the craft during those times gave photographs a distinctive look that is rarely seen today; one needs to add an "age" filter to artificially make a new picture look old. LOL...
 

ralphrepo

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#38
I had previously made reference to the unprecedented access that people now have to traditionally unseen or hidden images, as the internet has allowed many privately held collections to be uploaded and shared with the world. This picture is such an example. It was found on the picture site of someone named Randy Smith, who had dedicated a section of his personal net gallery (on Google's Picassa Web Albums) to photographs that his father had taken during military service in World War Two. The Elder Smith was apparently a part of a secret joint venture between American and Chinese forces. He was one of about 2500 or so US sailor or marines that were sent into China under the Sino-American Cooperative Organization agreement, to clandestinely assist the Chinese military against Japan. They operated deep inside enemy occupied territory, provided training and supplies to Chinese guerilla forces, intercepted and monitored enemy radio traffic, and provided meteorologic forecasts to allied forces in the Asian theater. They worked exclusively with Chinese Nationalist forces (aka the Koumingtang).

http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x73/ralphrepo/PopularAsians/SACOChineseGuerillaExecutesPriso-1.jpg


The picture on the site did not bear a title. But, from annotations of other similar photos in the series, it was apparently taken in Foochow (modern day Fuzhou 福州, capital of Fujian Province, China) sometime during September of 1945, presumably by W. Elsworth Smith. I spotted out defects, evened the tone a bit, and adjusted the contrast for better visual clarity.

The picture shows two condemned men being led to their execution by firing squad. According to the information from the other photographs, it was performed by Chinese guerilla forces. Other than being Asian featured, the identities of the condemned are not known. Were they local common criminals (eg rapists or murderers) being brought to swift summary justice? Or might they be captured Japanese soldiers, or perhaps local Chinese but pro Japanese collaborators? Maybe they were Communist Chinese infiltrating the KMT area, or perhaps even Koumingtang deserters? This was war, and sometimes, it was just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. During the war against Japan, it was relatively rare to see Chinese on Chinese violence captured on film, much less being taken by a western ally soldier. But as the war waned and the threat from Japan receded Chinese forces felt much more at ease with publicly delivering their own individual brand of justice against each other.

Note: there are other pictures (along with the original unretouched image) on the site that shows the execution, with closer and graphic views of the bodies. Last but certainly not least, my sincerest thanks to Mr. Smith for so generously sharing a bit of his personal family history with the world.
 

ralphrepo

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#39
One of the sadder stories that arose from the end of the Qing monarchy was the story of Wan Rong, otherwise known as the Last Empress of China 婉容皇后. She was chosen at the age of 17 to marry a powerless monarch. This beautiful well educated girl from one of Manchuria's best families was to be turned into a wasted emotionally wrecked drug addict by her loveless marriage in 1922 to the last emperor of China, PuYi 溥儀. Cast by the same ill political winds that buffeted her husband, she was reported to have had an illicit affair with her driver, resulting in a scandalous pregnancy that was hushed up with the murder of the delivered baby and the exile of the paramour. Following the defeat of the Japanese empire and their lost hold of Manchuria, she eventually fell into the hands of communist forces. After a short period, she died in prison reportedly from a combination of malnutrition and opium withdrawal in 1946, at the age of 39.



Entitled Empress Gobele Wan-Rong [c1920-1940] by an unknown court photographer [RESTORED]. I retouched out spots, increased the contrast, and intensified the saturation of what looked to be a hand tinted original (see behind spoiler)

Despite Wan Rong's seeming fairy tale marriage to Qing royalty, it was to bring her nothing but pain, suffering, humiliation, and an unfortunate early death.
 

ralphrepo

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#40
Another picture worthy of social note was found from a private web gallery. I discovered this wonderful photograph amongst a series of pictures posted to Picassa Web Albums (Google's free picture gallery) by someone named Joe. He has a collection of images that (from what information I could gather on his gallery), seems to have been taken by one I.E. Oberholtzer in or around the Liao Chow area of Shansi, (modern day Liaozhou, Shanxi Province), China, during the 1920-1930s. His collection captured a wide range of events. There is a detailed series on road construction, a small series on the effects of war, and finally, a section devoted to missionary work, and the social milieu of the Shanxi area. I do not know if Oberholtzer himself was a missionary or not.



Entitled Bound Feet Girls, Shansi, China [c1920-1930s] likely by IE Oberholtzer [RESTORED]. I took out spots, repaired obvious image defects, increased the contrast and fixed the edges (Original behind spoiler).

Beauty is often held to be in the eye of the beholder. One of the most famous, yet puzzling, but distinctly Chinese ideas thereof resided in the form of Bound Feet 纏足. This was done by the forcible breaking, folding and binding of young girls feet, so that the resultant footprint was only about half or a third of the size that it would naturally be. This painful, crippling, and sometimes fatal deformity process was performed on Chinese girls as early as three years old. It was considered something that made them more desirable by Chinese men when they reached eventual adulthood. Also known as a Lotus Foot, the practice was almost an exclusive habit of the affluent or wealthy (since the Tang) until the mid to late 1800's, whereupon the very poor too, eventually took up this practice. It was then thought to increase a family's prospects for eventual receipt of a better dowry when a daughter married. Many poor women however, could typically only be married into other poor families, thereby harshly limiting the size of any such dowry. Thus most poor women had their feet crippled for nothing. The practice was eventually outlawed in the early 1900's but remained a cultural imperative clandestinely performed until the middle of the century. At that time, communist Chinese authorities ultimately threatened death sentences to anyone who didn't stop. It was arguably one of the best pro human rights action that the Chinese communists ever did in China.

As the above photo shows, this fashion phenomenon wasn't restricted to the very rich. Three young teenage girls, with poor and threadbare peasant clothing, nonetheless have tiny bound feet.
 
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