National Geographic : 1949 Sep
Power Comes Back to Peiping © National Geographic Society Ansco Color U. S. Marine Corps, Official, by Lt. David D. Duncan Morning Sunshine Warms Shoppers in Search of Early Bargains on Hata Men Street On an autumn morning the busy thoroughfare of Peiping's east side quickly comes to life. A merchant has stepped from his cold shop to sit on the sidewalk and read his newspaper. A woman, wearing a knitted jacket over her one-piece dress, leads a child bundled in padded clothing. Because her feet were bound when she was young, she "toes out." Binding feet is now forbidden in China. Beside parked rickshas, a boy stirs chestnuts roasting over a charcoal brazier. Up and down the side walk such vendors display their wares. Carrying baskets suspended from poles, peddlers hawk their merchandise from house to house. Their cries, some raucous, some melodious, identify the goods for sale. Horns and other musical instruments also attract attention. From the peddlers many residents obtain all their daily needs: almond and rice cakes, a wide range of other foods, household utensils, oil and charcoal, cloth, and sewing accessories. Peiping's shops were one of the Orient's greatest treasure chests of curios and antiques. Big bazaars and tiny holes-in-the-wall overflowed with embroideries, porcelains, ivory, jade, cloisonne, bronze, and lacquer ware. Some of the pieces belonged to members of the imperial houses and princely families. As in many other Oriental lands, shopkeepers selling the same wares live close together, a custom giving rise to such street names as Jade, Furniture, Lantern, and Silver.