SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN

China, nineteenth century. Two girlsSnow Flower a White Lily, become linked for eternity with the Laotong rite, after sharing the practice of foot wrapping.

In the situation of isolation of the women of the time, the two friends will begin to communicate with a language unknown to men, the nü shu (女 书), through the folds of the Snow Flower fan.
Shanghai, today's times. The descendants of Snow  Flower and White Lily, two girls who have been friends since childhood, Sophia Liao and Nina Wei, bond with the Laotong ritual through a CD by singer Faye Wong. The various events of life will separate them and then discover that their union will transcend time.
The bandaging was a ritual that mothers imposed on their daughters, between four and five years of age, with the aim of changing the shape of the feet. In this way they would have remained small, about seven / eight centimeters, and would have assumed a pointed shape.
Unfortunately, there were also less fortunate girls, who did not survive due to the resulting infections and gangrene.
Furthermore, having deformed feet was an investment in marriage and in the possibility of social ascent, since marrying such girls was a sign of prosperity.

The only women who did not follow the practice were those of the Hakka ethnic group, very poor, and the fisherwomen, as they needed normal feet to be able to balance their weight on the boats.
The shoes used by women with golden lilies, compared with a hand. (Photo and hand by Amanda Foreman)

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. symohmajor
    Aug 18, 2021 @ 17:00:29

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    Reply

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