Pike boots and burbot bags were popular in Taimyr
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Pike boots and burbot bags were popular in Taimyr

December 07, 2022

A master class on making handicrafts from fish skin was held in the North House of Folk Art.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. If the expression “a coat with fish fur” means that the thing is completely unsuitable for wearing in cold weather, then boots or a raincoat made of burbot and pike are reliable and waterproof in the autumn-spring period. The Taimyr people willingly used such materials for their wardrobe.

Half of the Dudinka, Norilsk, and especially the Taimyr villages residents are fishermen. Homebodies can get acquainted with the local marine fauna in the exposition of the Taimyr Museum of Local Lore.

Scarecrows are already a whim of the 20th century; the peninsula indigenous inhabitants used the material that came into their hands more pragmatically. Especially those who lived near the river. They sewed waterproof clothing, stockings, shoes and various household items from fish skin. Because of what the owners of such a wardrobe were called “fish-skinned people”.

This material is light, durable, protects from wind, does not get wet, retains heat well. For example, a bag made of burbot skin can withstand a two-pound weight. It can also be used instead of glass in windows in winter.

Anyone who has ever tried to take off a pike skin with pliers to cook a stuffed dish will confirm: it is very durable. Shoes were sewn from pike skin, which is abundant in the Taimyr lakes. Both the Yenisey sturgeon and the sterlet were suitable for this.

The art of working with fish skin has become a rarity today. Craftswomen from the Taimyr House of Folk Art helped to revive it at a master class in the Hatanga House of Folk Art. They learned it at the Taimyr Craft Forum.

The master class participants made small appliqués of burbot and pike skin pieces, selecting them according to the color scheme, processing each fragment in a special way. They also tried to make a keychain in the form of a northern girl.

Given the growing tourist interest in Taimyr and its national component, it can be assumed that one day workshops for sewing fish skin handbags or boots may appear here.

Earlier, we wrote about the Taimyr museum, which exhibits fish scarecrows, the first craft forum in Dudinka, and the Baraksan fashion theater. We also talked about the new brand SEVER, which is gaining popularity in Norilsk.

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Text: Tatyana Rychkova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko, Taimyr Museum of Local Lore and Hatanga Administration press service

December 07, 2022

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