Boy’s fish skin costume

Wenfeng You, a Hezhe woman, made this outfit for her grandson using 25 salmon, which were caught by family members. She scraped, dried and worked the skins to make them light and soft as cotton, yet durable, waterproof and cold-resistant. She pieced them together in accordance with the colour and scale patterns of the fish.

Collection Connections 

  • Festival Hat

    Festival Hat

    Asia: East Asia, China

    View More 
  • Hat


    Asia: East Asia, China, Li Mountains

    View More 
  • Festival Jacket

    Festival Jacket

    Asia: East Asia, China, Southern China, Guizhou Province

    View More 

Why do the Hezhe people rarely make clothing out of fish skin anymore?

responded: Mar 31, 2010

Posted by Natalia Nekrassova

Recommend this Response
Their life has changed: today they are not isolated from the world around them like it was before. They can travel to any destination to acquire goods which they need and it is much easier and less time consuming than to make garments from fish skin. Also there is no that abundance of fish in the rivers any more like it was, say, 100 years ago. Many rivers are polluted, many dams have been constructed and it influences the natural life.

Elements of this site may require Flash player 8