What kind of shoes did ancient Chinese people wear? I think the first thing you think of is straw sandals, embroidered shoes or clogs. What else do you know about the shoes of the ancients?
Ancient times: eating its flesh and using its skin
In the Paleolithic age, primitive people tied animal skins to their feet with thin strips of leather. These are the most primitive shoes.
The earliest shoes in China are sheepskin boots unearthed in Loulan, Xinjiang. These shoes were worn on the feet of a woman who was about 18 years old. They are more than 4000 years old. They are also the earliest unearthed shoes in the world.
Shang and Zhou Dynasties: progress of textile industry
In the Shang Dynasty, there were strict rules for the color, material and pattern of shoes according to the clothing. Silk weaving technology is skilled, and silk and textile fabrics have become popular.
After the Warring States period, the word “Gu” was gradually replaced by “Lu”.
During the Warring States period, there was a man from the state of Zheng who went to the market to buy shoes. He measured his foot’s size at home in advance. When he got to the market, he found that he had forgotten to take the rope with him. So he returned home to take the rope. When he returned to the market again, the market had already broken up, and he finally did not buy shoes. This is the story of “Zheng people buying shoes”.
Qin and Han Dynasty: leather shoes are the expression of simple life
In the Qin and Han Dynasties, because of the rich leather resources, wearing leather shoes meant simple life. In addition, there are shoes made of silk, wooden clogs and straw sandals.
Straw sandals began in the Xia Dynasty and were made of straw.
Ancient chivalrous men and hermits seem to like to wear straw sandals: “bamboo stick Zhishi shoes light than horses, a straw rain wind and rain as long as life.”
In ancient times, shoes were left and right. It will not be uncomfortable to wear, because the ancients would choose soft materials, such as grass, cotton and hemp, animal skin and so on.
Wei Jin, southern and Northern Dynasties: clogs is the invention of Chinese ancestors!
Clogs are mainly made of wood, so they are called “clogs”. The oldest wooden clog was found in the late Neolithic site of Cihu, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in 1989. It has five holes in the bottom plate and is used for tying ropes.
According to the book of Jin, Xie an, the Prime Minister of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, was calm enough to play chess with his guests when he learned that he had won the battle ahead. However, after the chess game was over, he was so excited that he forgot to lift his feet and broke his clogs and teeth.
It shows that clogs were home shoes in Jin Dynasty.
Sui, Tang and Five Dynasties: it turns out that long boots have been popular so early
In the Sui and Tang Dynasties, the word “shoes” specifically referring to “shoes of raw leather” replaced “shoes” and became the general name of shoes, which has continued to the present day.
In the Sui Dynasty, boots were officially adopted by the court and became one of the official’s clothes.
Boots were originally worn by nomadic people in the north, also known as horse boots. It is said that they were invented by Sun Bin, a strategist of the Warring States period. The boots are more suitable for riding on horses and trekking on the grass, and are also conducive to keeping the legs warm. Therefore, the boots were used in the army for a long time after they were introduced into the Central Plains.
In Sui and Tang Dynasties, boots were usually black. Long tubes were mostly used in the army, while short ones were used in folk.
Women’s shoes in the Tang Dynasty are phoenix head style and embroidered. In addition, there are high head, flat head, warped round head and other styles.
Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties: the faltering “three inch Golden Lotus”
The shoe style of the Song Dynasty followed the system of the former dynasty. The shoes were worn during the court meeting, and the common people wore straw shoes and cloth shoes.
In the Ming Dynasty, there were strict regulations on shoes, which were not allowed to be worn by common people and merchants.
In the Qing Dynasty, people began to wear pointed boots made of cloth, also made of felt, satin and other fabrics.
The folk women took three inch lotus as the custom, which reflected the discrimination and persecution of women in feudal society. Foot binding began in the Southern Tang Dynasty and flourished in song, yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
In the Qing Dynasty, Manchu women without small feet wore flowerpot soled shoes.
This kind of shoes, also called flag shoes, are decorated with tassels made of silk thread at the toe. They are unique embroidered shoes of Manchu nationality. The high wooden sole highlights the tall figure of women. The upper is embroidered with cicada and butterfly patterns.
Republic of China: the appearance of modern leather shoes
At the end of Qing Dynasty, almost all Chinese wore cloth shoes. At that time, there was no modern western leather shoes workshop in China.
The first pair of modern leather shoes in China was made by a shoe repair apprentice named Shen Binggen relying on the shoe-making technology he learned in the cloth shoe workshop.
Leather shoes began to be popular in China’s big cities in the 1920s and 1930s. It is very common to wear western style leather shoes and high-heeled shoes in and out of dance venues.
As the government of the Republic of China issued a decree, the bad habit of foot binding was gradually abolished, and women wore embroidered shoes of normal size.
There was a kind of embroidered shoes with leather soles, silk and satin, which were favored by women at that time for its strong national characteristics and fine handicraft.
Although the shoes are small, the world is very big. Shoe styles change with the times, Only the carrier of culture exists in the world forever.