Vintage Photographs of Chinese Women

Manchu hairstyle

A collection of photographs at Environmental Graffiti gives a glimpse into the lives of women in China in the 19th century. About this photograph:

To create those amazing ‘wings’, the hair was wrapped around a piece of wood at the back. “The [Manchu] style is simple and graceful, and must have been designed, one would almost think, to represent horns, enabling the wearer to hold her own against her antagonistic husband,” joked photographer John Thomson, who took many 19th-century Chinese photographs, including this one from 1869.

Customs and fashions varied from Formosa to Manchuria to the enclaves of minority tribes. Read about each with the photographs. Warning: bound feet. Link

(Image source: Flickr user ralph repo)


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