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Chinese Women During the Ming Dynasty
Transcript of Chinese Women During the Ming Dynasty
By: Haley Nguyen
-Treatment of women
-Role of women
-Concubines and Courtesans
Treatment of Chinese Women
Continually demoralized, degraded, humiliated, and ignored- natural silence
Silence was second nature and accepted mistreatment
Self controversial situation
Art themes kept women in state of never ending vulnerability and silence
Before Confucianism- dominant belief
Nature=Women "Mother to all things"
Appreciated women and regard as sacred
Confucianism took over- downward spiral for women
Accessory for men to use and abuse
Men were leaders
Women's priority is to listen to men
How sad it is to be a woman! / Nothing on earth is held so cheap. / Boys stand leaning at the door / Like gods fallen out of heaven. / Their hearts brave the Four Oceans, / The wind and dust of a thousand miles. / No one is glad when a girl is born: / By her the family sets no store. / When she grows up she hides in her room, / Afraid to look a man in the face. / No one cries when she leaves her home— / Sudden as clouds when the rain stops. / She bows her head and composes her face, / Her teeth are pressed on her red lips: / She bows and kneels countless times.
- Fu Hsuan
Basic principle of Heaven
applied to all social classes
desire, wants, and dreams did not matter
Family came first
life determined before conceived
Parents controlled marriage
If refusal to marry- forced prostitute or concubine
No conversations with men
Away from other children
If too many females- Left to die
Females were burdens
Role of Chinese Women
Determined before born
Have sons and continue bloodline
Once given birth to son- more respect
Did not believe in marriages
Increase social status, financial prospects, and growth of family lineage
Issue passed on through thoughts and art
Concubines and Courtesans
Women married as second wives
Purpose- to have sons
Sold by parents
No status or power but taken care of financially
showed status and power
after birth, first wife takes child
Female who entertains men
Received luxuries and social status
Did not marry
Stigmatized by society
Classified as plucked lute
Four stringed, pair shaped
At first recognized as foreigners or evangelists instrument
Qin / Qugin
Zither, comprised of 7 strings made of silk
most revered instrument
elite talent in modern China
few privileged enough to play
beauty revolved around feet
inhibits feet to grow
Start by pulling toes back, breaking toes, and wrapping them at the bottom of her foot
Ideal size was 3 inches
Curvature- "moons forever new"
Men found it arousing
Girls thought they were lucky
favorite face shape- oval
Lips are best if rosy, small, turned upwards
Dark black pupil and long cuved eyelid for eyes
Eyebrows are thing, barely curved, and long
Colors of Clothing
Denote different social classes and type of work
Three main colors: black, white, and red
Black- negative, bad misfortune
Red- blood, good luck, positive
White- mother's milk, purity, moderation, and life
Yellow- most important, gold, earth, commoners forbidden to wear
Common- pien-fu, chang-pao, and shen-i
Pien-fu- two piece, worn during ceremonies
Skirt or trousers+ tunic like top that falls to knees
Chang pao- one piece, starts at shoulders and goes straight to heels
Shen-i- combo of pien-fu and chang-pao, loose- fitting
Both genders wore buns with pins
Women's pins- ji were more flashy
Bayao- hair jewel with moveabe pendants that were shaped like flower branches, shake and make noises, some framed faces
Ji Ceremony- 15 years, marriage readiness, received hairpin
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