The Han, China’s ethnic majority, practiced footbinding for over a thousand years and jin lian or ‘golden lotus’ feet distinguished women of Han ethnicity throughout Imperial China. Jin lian were important symbols of female beauty, modesty and status. This pair of lotus shoes, measuring eleven and a half centimetres (four and a half inches) features pointed, slightly upturned toes and a lotus bud shaped sole with wedge heels. The uppers are made with red silk satin and decorated with stylized floral, shoe and interlocked circle designs. Floral and bat embroidery motifs are found on the back of the heel. Collection of Bata Shoe Museum.


  • Title: Han Lotus Shoes
  • Creator: Creator Unknown
  • Date Created: 1860/1899
  • Physical Dimensions: Length: 11.5 cm Width: 5.0 cm Height: 7.0 cm
  • Rights: Copyright © 2017 Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada (photo: Christine McLean and Nicole Dawkins)
  • External Link: http://www.batashoemuseum.ca/
  • Medium: Silk, cotton, wood

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