H is for Haiti
In Haiti there is a powerful mermaid named Lasiren. She is one of three powerful water spirits, sometimes considered sisters. One is cool and calm, one is passionate and angry, and Lasiren is a blend of the two. Lasiren is a part of the Vodou tradition and its practitioners believe that the mermaid’s spirit may enter the body of a female follower and bring good luck. Haitians who believe in Vodou swim in the ocean with their heads above water so that they won’t be captured by Lasiren.
When enslaved Africans were taken to the Caribbean, they brought their stories with them. The story of Lasiren blends African and French mermaid tales with Caribbean culture. You can learn much more about her here. Below is an example of Haitian recycled steel drum art:
Also in Haiti, Christopher Columbus reported seeing three mermaids in 1493. He said that they were “not as pretty as they are painted, for somehow in the face they look like men.” They were probably manatees.
H is also for Harry Potter. Do you remember the merpeople in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? These are the kind of images that cause nightmares!
From Harry Potter: The Creature Vault by Jody Revenson. Publisher: Harper Design [October 28, 2014].
Isn’t the world of mermaids wild?