Seal Skin, Soul Skin

This is a story about renewal. The Selkie is a sea creature who can come onto land, take off her skin and dance in the moon light. One night when Selkies were dancing, a fisherman stole the skin of one of the Selkies and she was not able to return to the sea. The fisherman struck a deal – if she married him and had his children, he would give her skin back to her, so she could return home. 

But after the years went by the fisherman reneged on his deal and would not giver her back he skin – so she began to die. One day one of her children found the skin and brought it to his mother. She was able to put it on and return to the sea – return to her home to renew herself. Now she lives in the sea but comes back from time to time to visit her children.

The is a folk tale told by the Celts, the Scots, the tribes of Northwest America, Siberian and Icelandic peoples.


Artists: Susan Gangsei & Nancy Jackson
Weaver: Susan Gangsei
Medium: Handwoven Tapestry (Aubusson & Gobelin methods)
Dimensions: 59.5"H x 47"W
Materials: Wool weft, cotton warp set at 10 epi
2007