From the Qin (221 BC 206 BC) to Qing (1644 1911) Dynasties, the feudal system dominated over two thousand years. During this period, the importance of getting married was far more than that a person found his better half. Only boys went to school. There they learned the teachings of Confucius by heart. They also learned calligraphy. Of course, only a minority of boys went to school. Most did not. Instead, they worked in the fields from an early age. Education for Ancient Chinese Girls consisted of training in the ritual duties assigned to women and in domestic work such as spinning, weaving, and sewing and social skills conducive to survival in large extended families.

Ancient Chinese Girls

In the Sung Dynasty around 1100 AD, a new fashion began wherein it was thought that to be beautiful, they needed tiny little feet. When the Ancient Chinese Girls were around six years old, their feet were wrapped in bandages. These bandages were so tight that they broke the toes of the young girls and bent it under their feet. Then girls had to undergo immense pain for 3 4 years and then the pain would eventually subside.

The ancient Chinese custom of foot binding has caused severe life-long disability for many millions of elderly women, even in today’s China. By the time a girl turned three years old, all her toes but the first were broken, and her feet were bound tightly with cloth strips to keep her feet from growing larger than 10 cm, about 3.9 inches. The practice would cause the soles of feet to bend in the extreme concavity.

Foot binding ceased in the 20th century with the end of imperial dynasties and increasing influence of western fashion. As the practice waned, some Ancient Chinese Girls feet were released after initial binding, leaving less severe deformities.

Life was pretty harsh for the poor in ancient China, probably true for the world over. If the family is unable to feed one more mouth, Ancient Chinese Girls are often sold as either child bride to people slightly better off and whose sons would otherwise not able to find a wife or as servants to rich families. This way the girl’s own family would be able to have better lives and the girl would be taken care of.

Of course, the “taken care of” would mean she would have food to eat but also sometimes the families who bought the girl would treat her badly. Even as a child bride its only another name for a servant/slave. The women or mother-in-law would treat the girl badly and make her do all the hard work around the house and serve everyone else.