Window on the World: The Rivers of New Brunswick

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1967.20 X16252 W576 1970.10 1975.54.2 XX-2425 1891.2 1951.20 Conclusion
 
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Chinese slippers
About 1891, 19th century
5.7 x 4.7 x 10.6 cm
Gift of Capitaine Augustin Landry
1891.2
This artefact belongs to : © Musée acadien of the Université de Moncton
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Keys to History

Capitaine Augustin Landry of Shediac collected souvenirs from his overseas voyages for the curious back home in New Brunswick. He donated items consisting mostly of foreign coins and "a fish with its eggs fished from the Cape of Good Hope" to the Musée acadien. His most interesting donations, however, were three pairs of Chinese slippers and a pair of Chinese sandals. Two of the pairs of slippers still have the museum's original labels glued on the shoe. These read: "Pantoufles chinoises. Capitaine Landry, Shédiac."

The Musée acadien's original register notes the pair of slippers shown here were worn by "grand Chinese ladies . . . their feet deformed so that only the big toe fits in the shoe, the rest of the foot being repressed back in the leg." This would have been a rather shocking piece of information for inquisitive 19th-century New Brunswickers.

  • What

    Traditional Chinese values dictated that the feet of young girls should be bound to keep them very dainty and beautiful, symbols of gentility and class.

  • Where

    Shediac, New Brunswick, a noted shipbuilding and fishing center, is located 20 kilometres east of Moncton.

  • When

    Capitaine Landry donated the slippers to the Musée acadien in 1891.

  • Who

    Capitaine Landry assured the Musée acadien that he "saw these noble [Chinese] ladies walking with this type of shoe."