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New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, N.B., 30019


Chinese shoes

embroidered silk and cotton, 15 cm


These shoes were designed for bound feet. Dr. Travis's interest in the Chinese practice of foot-binding suggests that she may have been involved in the movement to abolish it. No doubt she wished to illustrate the extremes of this custom by calling attention to these tiny shoes, which were included, along with similar shoes, as part of the Museum's Oriental Exhibition in 1924. A newspaper reporter covering the exhibit commented that "the woman's shoe by its tiny size, gives some idea of the torture the women endure in conforming to the ideals of beauty of their country."