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Chinese Tiger Shoes

Slipper, Chinese, silk, gift of Dr. John D. Winebrenner, 1998.5.1.1.

The ferocious tiger provides protection to a vulnerable child in the form of these tiger shoes. The Chinese character for king is embroidered in between the tiger’s eyes, labeling him “the king of all animals.” Meant to frighten off bad spirits, bring good luck, and guide the first steps of the child who wears them, the shoes feature various auspicious symbols, including a swastika cross which represents abundance and good fortune in the Chinese Buddhist tradition.

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