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After the fall of the Han Empire in 220 c.e., northern China was controlled by Central Asian & Tibetan nomads; no group in southern China was strong enough to control the entire region (30 dynasties in about 300 years claimed the Mandate of Heaven).
For 350 years, regional rule was the political reality.
“ A girl's beauty and desirability were counted more by the size of her feet than by the beauty of her face. Matchmakers were not asked, 'Is she beautiful?' but 'How small are her feet?' A plain face is given by heaven but poorly bound feet are a sign of laziness.”