Fish Scale Art

Fishing is a part of First Nation lifestyle as long as we can remember. All the food is used, nothing is wasted. Every area has different types of fish; salmon, grayling, white fish, trout, char, etc. The First Nation would always scale the fish to cook and eat. Rather than throwing the scales away or skinning the fish whole, someone came up with the idea using it for something useful. At one time the whole fish was used for dog packs, bags, or decorating items of native crafts. The natural scale was used at that time. Today the scales can be dyed all different colors using Rit clothing dye. The use of dyes to make vibrant colors for pictures. They can be dyed on the stove using the water/dye in the pot adding the amount of fishscales as needed. Rinse and dry on newspapers ready to use. Natural colors are just as beautiful also. Now we have First Nation women collecting for other women the fish scales for using in pictures. Fish scale  art is also is not practised enough so it is taught where ever now like potlatches,schools,  festivals, art shows, and cultural centres. First Nation people would also give thanks for the fish for providing food.

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