Gathering: "Flowerpot Shoes"

In Attire
“Manchu Shoes” (aka horsehoof or flowerpot shoes), ca. 1890. Courtesy of Mai Wah Society. Learn more by visiting: www.maiwah.org.
“Manchu Shoes” (aka horsehoof or flowerpot shoes), ca. 1890. Courtesy of Mai Wah Society. Learn more by visiting: www.maiwah.org.

The Manchu people of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) developed “flowerpot shoes” and did not practice the painful and crippling process of foot-binding. By the 19th century, this shoe style was adopted by other groups in China, including the Cantonese (from present-day Guangzhou). The shoes from the Mai Wah Museum’s collection on loan to MOCA were donated to the Mai Wah Society by Tina Huie in 2013. Note the fine embroidery work and decorated wooden sole with inlaid colored fabric and braided twine. The shoes date to the 1890s and belonged to Tina’s grandmother, Lily Chew Huie. Lily Chew was born in San Francisco around 1890 and later lived in Butte with her husband Sam Huie, where he managed a restaurant at 251 East Park Street. Sam was likely a nephew of the prominent Butte physician, Dr. Huie Pock. Sam and Lily had 13 children, at least 11 of them born in Butte. Two of their children resided at 639 Utah Street, which was Dr. Pock’s home and office until his death in 1927.

This object was featured in the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA)'s exhibit, "Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History," October 17, 2019 - March 22, 2020.

Place(s): Butte, Montana
Year: 1890

– Mai Wah Society

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more