A black-and-white photograph showing a group of men. They all wear a long Manchu braid. The bianzi 辮子 braid hairstyle is a traditional Manchu male hairstyle that became mandatory for all male subjects during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912). Just as the wearing of this hairstyle indicated allegiance to the rule of the Manchu royal family, at the end of the Qing Dynasty, the cutting of the male pigtail became part of a general rebellion against “foreign” rulers.
The photograph is the 133rd of 449 photographs of Beijing and its surroundings in the album of Ivan Skušek Jr., purchased during his stay in Beijing (1914–1920). In the handwritten inventory of the album, the photograph is referred to as Chinesische Zopfträger. (DZ, MV))