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Yellow Butterflies

11 November 2023 - 18 March 2024

 -  by Linda Fitzpatrick Exhibitions Exhibitions Featured

Yellow Butterflies
Yellow Butterflies

The colourful character, costume and culture of Scotland’s Fishwives

Although fishing is commonly thought of as being dominated by men, women contributed directly to the industry through their work in preparing the gear, processing the catch, and then selling the fish. It was this latter activity that brought the fisherwomen into closest contact with wider society, and in this role that they were known as “Fishwives”.

While women working in the herring industry were generally employed, fishwives worked for themselves, selling the fish caught by their family members or bought directly from the fishermen. They would work all year round, their wares varying with the seasons from shellfish to white fish to oily fish, ungutted or filleted, fresh, salted or smoked.

Being independent and distinctive saleswomen, fishwives gathered a reputation – both positive and negative – in the eyes of the public. They were admired for their hard work, colourful clothing, strength of character and healthy looks, while often being scorned for their harsh tongues and loud voices: “to scold like a fishwife” was a well-used phrase.

This exhibition examines the roles of the fishwife in the Scottish fishing industry, exploring how these women and their labour were regarded, represented, censured and celebrated, both by others and by the women themselves.

11 November 2023 - 18 March 2024

Included in general Museum Admission

The Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust Ltd
St Ayles, Harbourhead, Anstruther, Fife KY10 3AB
Tel (within UK): 01333 310628
Tel (from outside UK): +44 1333 310628
Charity Number: SC 006185 VAT Reg Number: 270 2790 64
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