This chapter continues the inquiry at the western edges of the North China Plain in Shanxi and Shaanxi. Here the four village sites present differences in cotton production, political influence, proximity to urban trade centers, and to the railroad. One northern site in Shanxi experienced the direct effects of the nearby Communist base in the 1930s. One village in Shaanxi lay in the heart of a rich cotton-growing region while the other in Shaanbei lacked locally grown cotton. The chapter focuses on the political and economic changes affecting women’s and girls’ hand work as well as the timing of footbinding’s decline at each site.
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