A photograph shows three women being punished after they were found guilty of witchcraft in China in 1922.
On 24 May 2017, the Historical Pics Twitter account posted a photograph purportedly showing three woman who were found guilty of witchcraft in China in 1922:
The photograph was not only misdated, it is also often interpreted as real life — what it probably would have been in 1907. But this is not, and probably never was, daily life in the Shanghai Concessions. It is a studio creation, as is confirmed by the setup in front of a Western window, not in the street; the lack of the pasted slip of paper stating the reason for the punishment (a legal obligation); and the pristine condition of the three women who cannot have been standing there more than the few minutes necessary for the exposure.
A cangue limits a person’s movement by placing their head through the hole of a large board. It was used as a form of punishment, torture, or public humiliation. Saunders captured at least one other photograph demonstrating the use of a cangue in China. The following photograph, dated between 1865-1870, also used models and not people convicted of witchcraft: