Monday, February 10, 2014

Strange Icelandic Eco-fashion

As a fashion design major and someone who is very interested in eco-fashion, I decided to do some research on Icelandic eco-fashion. What I stumbled across was probably one of the strangest things I possible could have found. This photo is a pair of necropants... yes, necro, as in dead guy. These pants were made from the skin of a deceased man. The article goes into detail of how and why these pants were created. Now stored at the Icelandic Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft, these pants were thought to bring good luck and wealth to the sorcerer who wore them. They were created in the 17th century and are now the oldest pair of necropants that are still intact, and by intact, we're talking feet and scrotum still attached. That last statement also implies that there were more than one pair of necropants made which is ultimately disturbing. The museum website describes in detail the process the sorcerer must go through to receive this good luck and wealth:

“After he has been buried you must dig up his body and flay the skin of the corpse in one piece from the waist down. As soon as you step into the pants they will stick to your own skin. A coin must be stolen from a poor widow and placed in the scrotum along with the magical sign, nábrókarstafur, written on a piece of paper. Consequently the coin will draw money into the scrotum so it will never be empty, as long as the original coin is not removed.”

In order for the next wearer to continue this good luck, the new wearer must step into the right leg before the previous wearer has stepped out of the left leg. While this gives us a very interesting look at the pre-industrial past of Iceland, we still finish with an image of two living men wearing the same pair of pants made of one dead guy's skin...

Here is a link to the museum website that has several articles on the history of Icelandic Sorcery:

1 comment:

  1. A Museum of Sorcery and Witchcraft? We need to get one of these in Philadelphia ASAP! It's endlessly interesting to see how values and traditions are reflected in the clothing worn by members of a cultural group. In modern Western society, wearing pants like this would garner images of a Hannibal Lecter-type character, and would undoubtedly be a sign of mental instability. I can't imagine it being considered "normal" to wear someone else's skin!