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The fish-skin clothes of China’s ‘mermaid’ people

You Wenfeng is one of only a few people who know how to create clothing from fish skin, a skill of her ethnic Hezhen minority people – who were once so skilled plying the waters of the nearby Heilong River that they are said to be “descended from mermaids”. The 68-year-old woman from Tongjiang, a city in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province near the border with Russia, fears the loss of the ancient tradition from her people. But that might change she started teaching others her craft, and because the exotic, aquatic leather  caught the eyes of international fashion designers working for the likes of Dior and Prada.

24 Jan 2020 - 10:19AM