The history of "shoes"

【Source: Zhuzhou Evening News Digital Edition_Zhuzhou Evening News】

The history of "shoes"

▶Excerpt from "Madam Guo Guo's Spring Walk" by Tang Dynasty artist Zhang Xuan. In picture, we can see style of riding boots in Tang Dynasty. (Photo from Internet)

Shoes are a necessity in people's lives and an important part of Chinese traditional clothing culture. Through thousands of years of historical change, ancient Chinese shoes have acquired various styles and functions. Square inch shoes contain rich cultural knowledge reflecting development and progress of ancient Chinese technology and handicraft production in different eras.

In ancient times, "si shoes"

In ancient era of drinking blood and hair, primitive people had a hard life: they went barefoot hunting and gathering and had no idea about shoes. Since Paleolithic, our ancestors have learned to use tools to skin wild animals, put them on their bodies to keep warm, and wrap them around their feet to protect their feet - this is how most primitive leather shoes appeared. About 5000 years ago during Yangshao culture period, primitive shoes made from animal skins appeared.

With continuous development of mankind, ancestors learned to use a wider range of materials for making shoes. They collected leaves and stems of plants and wove them into straw sandals using simple tools. According to legend, straw sandals were created by Yu Ze, a courtier of Yellow Emperor. It is written in Shiben Document of Warring States, “Yu Ze made Xi Lu. Grass is called Xi, and hemp is called Lu." This shows that earliest name of ancient straw sandals was "屝套", and raw materials were grass, hemp, and so on. and style is quite simple.

"屦" in Shang and Zhou dynasties

During Shang and Zhou dynasties, with advent of raw materials for silk fabric, textile shoes began to appear. Shoes are divided into different materials of leather, grass and cloth, no matter what material they are made of, they are collectively called "屦" (ju). There is a poem in Wei Feng's Song Book, "Tangled in Confusion, in Smog." This means that shoes are made from hemp, which can tread on frosty ground. "屦" - shoes made from hemp and kudzu.

In Zhou Dynasty, there was a special position called "Xi Ren". "Zhou Li Tianguan" said, "Xiren is responsible for clothes and shoes of king and queen." During Shang and Zhou dynasties, style and workmanship of shoes were more refined, and colorful satin shoes appeared. Since Shang and Zhou dynasties were a "ritual system" society, shoes were also divided into grades, and there were strict systems of materials, colors, and patterns. Some nobles even decorated their chests with jade.

After Warring States period, we started to grow cotton, and "屦" was gradually replaced by "苏", which became general term for shoes. Shoes are usually made from cotton and silk. "Han Feizi Wai Chu Shuo, top left" contains famous fable about "Zheng Ren buying shoes", which shows that there were already shops selling "shoes" at that time.

To meet demands of war, King Zhao Wuling advocated hu clothing for riding and shooting, and introduced clothing of nomadic Hu people in Northwest China: short jackets, trousers, and leather boots, which were used to make long leather boots. popular in Central Plains.

The shoes of Han Dynasty were named after texture of raw materials, and shoes made of silk and brocade were called "silk shoes" or "brocade shoes", which were high-end shoes at that time. Han shoes can be divided into round toe, square toe, divergent toe, and wat-tou (hooked-toe) according to difference in head. They are characterized by a wide body, and material evidence can be found in excavated cultural relics. in many places.

Shoes from Sui and Tang dynasties

The Sui and Tang dynasties were peak of development of Chinese footwear and clothing culture, and name of shoe began to appear. During this period, craftsmanship of footwear production was very high, and styles became more colorful, including not only leather shoes and straw sandals, but also silk shoes and wooden shoes. Different styles, such as high-top shoes, flat-top shoes, cloud-shaped small-top shoes, and flower-shaped shoes, appeared in succession. also woven from cattail grass. At that time, wearing clogs was also quite common. Clogs are a kind of clogs with two prongs, which are made from a wooden board and clog laces. There are two protruding "prongs" on bottom of wooden board, which are convenient for walking through mud on rainy days, as well as to prevent foot from being scratched by thorny plants. In Li Bai's Heavenly Grandmother's Dream, Yin Liu's Farewell, it is written, "Wearing Xie Gong's Clogs and Climbing Qingyun Ladder", "Xie Gong's Clogs" here is clog.

During Song and Yuan dynasties, Tang Dynasty shoes were mainly used, but with more styles and varieties. During Song Dynasty, leather shoes were mostly popular: men mostly wore leather shoes with small toes, while women wore round, flat, or oblique toes, and decorated them with various patterns of flowers and birds. At end of Yuan Dynasty, women's cloth shoes with a high toe and a flat sole began to appear.

Shoes during Ming Dynasty were mostly thick and thick. There were more diamond-patterned shoes in north, and more brown hemp shoes in south of Yangtze River. During Manchu reign of Qing Dynasty, men's shoes were mostly pointed, made of satin in summer and autumn and velvet in winter, with thick and thin soles. The women's shoes of banner-bearers or palace ladies of Qing Dynasty are most characteristic. soles on woodon a high sole, shape is wide at top and round at bottom. They are called "shoes with a bottom in form of a flower pot." (Excerpt from Popular Science Times)

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