Xie Yongliang: inheritor of the Hezhe fish-skin art
The fish skin is as soft as the animal skin. Its five colors reflect those of the sunlight. People use it to make clothes and socks. It’s the brocade bestowed on fishermen.
I’m Xie Yongliang, a member of the Hezhe ethnic group.
I’m a provincial-level representative inheritor of the traditional costume of the Hezhe ethnic group, a provincial-level representative project of intangible cultural heritage of Heilongjiang Province.
I’m also a representative inheritor of the Hezhe fish-skin art, a city-level representative project of intangible cultural heritage of Jiamusi City.
Hezhe is one of the smallest ethnic groups in China.
We live on the Sanjiang Plain in northeast China.
My hometown is Aoqi Town in Jiamusi City along the Heilongjiang River.
Previously we were an ethnic group that lived on fishing and hunting,
so the Hezhe fish-skin art is actually an art of human survival.
It can also be regarded as history written on fish-skin.
In terms of food, the diet of our earliest ancestors included fish already.
Our special dishes include sliced raw fish, pared fish fillet, and fried shredded fish.
We use fish skin to make clothes and accessories.
A set of fish-skin costume is made with one hundred to two hundred sheets of fish skin,
and on the fish skin, we sew buttons made from fishbones.
Among the 56 ethnic groups in our country,
we’re the only one that make ethnic costumes with fish skin.
The Hezhe fish-skin art was initially called “paper-cut without paper”
Its technique was similar to that of the original paper-cutting.
Later we extended from fish-skin-cutting artworks to fish-skin-pasting artworks.
Next we turned to the embossed fish-skin artworks, and then the embroidered fish-skin artworks.
The fish-skin art has undergone a long process of development and transformation.
Now fish-skin artworks serve as tourist souvenirs and cultural products.
But inherently, the fish-skin art represents our expectation for life
一种对吉祥平安的一种向往。[ Editor: Shi Ruoqi ]