The Fiji Mermaid

The Fiji Mermaid


This charming creature is known as a 'Fiji Mermaid' (or Feejee Mermaid) was inspired by the strange Victorian tradition of sewing half of a fish to half of a mummified monkey...

These taxidermy chimera were presented as a genuine “mermaids.” They were quite the sensation when they arrived on the scene, though the newspaper illustrations depicted them as lovely voluptuous half-fish half-women, not withered and grimacing monkey-creatures.

The most famous Feejee Mermaid belonged to P. T. Barnum (Of the Barnum and and Bailey's Circus) and was kept in his museum of freaks and curiosities, where rubes lined up to get a gander of this exotic and impossible creature.

No fish nor monkeys were harmed in the making of this mermaid. She is made of polymer and acrylic, metal and glass, enshrined in seashells and taffeta. She is displayed in a hand-finished wooden shadowbox measuring a modest 4.5 x 6.5 inches. A one of a kind multimedia artwork by Hibernacula artist/designer K. M. Kotulak.

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