Marlene Nielsen taught herself to sew fish skin. Now she teaches students across the state in an effort to keep the traditional art alive.
Salmon skin is a traditional sewing material for Alaska Native people in many parts of the state. When dried and preserved, it can be crafted into bags, boots and other clothing items. However, few artists still practice the craft. Marlene Nielsen from Kokhanok is among those who do. She taught herself several years ago because no one she knew worked with fish skin. Now she teaches classes around the Alaska.
KDLG’s Avery Lill spoke with her at the Fishtival bazaar in Naknek this summer, where she was selling her fish skin crafts.