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Embroidered Shoes

Embroidered shoes, with beautiful decorative patterns on the uppers embroidered with colorful silk threads, is a perfect combination of the Shoe Culture and Embroidery Art.with beautiful decorative patterns on the uppers embroidered with colorful silk threads, is a perfect combination of the Shoe Culture and Embroidery Art. This unique handicraft of Chinese nation is deeply rooted in the national culture and functions as an article for daily use. It is reputed as "Chinese shoes".
As early as 5,000 years ago, in the Neolithic Age, leather boots already emerged in the lives of Chinese people. Gradually, shoes made of various materials in diversified styles came into existence. After the social division of labor when men should till the land and women weave cloth, diligent and intelligent Chinese women, through dynasties, have passed down the ancient technique of embroidering shoes from generation to generation. Stitch by stitch, they were narrating the aesthetic notions, cultural traditions, ethics and virtues, as well as the fashion trends of each dynasty by the tiny shoes. From vamp to upper, from welt to sole, embroidery can find the niche to sparkle in line with the Eastern vogue of advocating aestheticism. The motif originates from folk culture and customs, such as flowers, birds, insects, fish, animals, mountains, rivers, fruits, and figures in traditional operas. Auspicious patterns to wish the others have a baby soon and a life-long happy marriage also prevail. People's values and pursuit for a happy life are vividly displayed in these beautiful embroidered products.  

It has been a shared understanding, ever from the ancient times, that women shall shoulder the special mission and be capable of embroidering on shoes. Many women began learning how to embroider and make shoes in their childhood. Gradually, a woman will be regarded talented and skilled if she makes good embroidered shoes. The wisdom and aesthetic taste of a woman are demonstrated by pairs of these shoes created by her. Meanwhile, a bride-to-be will make shoes, clothes, and daily items with gorgeous embroidery as the best dowries she prepares for herself. A dozen years of endeavor has been spent on the embroidered shoes until the girl's wedding day, which shows her purity, her loyalty to love, and her pursuit for happiness.     

Embroidered shoes are a common cultural treasure owned by the Chinese nation. Among 55 ethnic minorities in China, over 20, such as Miao, Zhuang, Dong, Yao, Yi, take embroidered shoes as the characteristic of their costumes. The embroidered patterns of each ethic minority are varied, yet with the same label - China.

China travel guide    Posted by China Culture on 07/17/2012

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