Welcome to the letter O of the A to Z Blog Challenge. Click on this link to visit some of the others who are participating in this challenge. I’m blogging through the alphabet on the theme of Living in a Mermaid World.
Oannes is the name an ancient Babylonian god who was said to have the form of a fish. But, under the fish head was a head of a man, and under his fish tail were human feet. In daytime he was able to come and walk along the shore of the Persian Gulf where he shared his wisdom and instructed mankind in the arts, sciences, and written language. When the sun set, he returned to the sea.
(Detail of a bas-relief from the palace of the Assyrian king Sargon II (721-705 BC) presumably showing “Oannes”. Louvre, Paris)
Oceania is the region made up of the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. s the name implies, it is an area surrounded by ocean and, as we know, where there are oceans there are mermaid sightings. Here is one called The Porpoise Wife from Earth Tales from Around the World retold by Michael J. Caduto Fulcrum Publishing
In Micronesia there is a myth of two porpoise girls who came to land to watch people dance. They took their tales off and walked on land. While there, a man hid the tail of one of the girls, preventing her from returning to the sea with her friend. He told her he loved her and asked her to be his wife. She married the man and they eventually had children yet she continued to miss her home in the sea. Years later she found her tail, put it on and went back into the ocean after imploring her children to never eat porpoise. To this day, the people of Micronesia respect and never eat porpoise.
And, just for fun, here is a verse by Ogden Nash –
Say not the mermaid is a myth,
I knew one once named Mrs. Smith.
She stood while playing cards or knitting:
Mermaids are not equipped for sitting.
Thanks for stopping by!
Very interesting! I went to Hampi recently, A UNESCO preserved ruins and there we saw some 16-17th century carvings. One of those had a mermaid on it. I wish I had got a picture for you,
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Claire Annette Noland says
I just looked Hampi up – what an amazing place. I’d love to go there. I wasn’t able to find anything about the mermaid carving but I’m going to keep trying. Thanks so much!
I think if that man really loved the mermaid, he wouldn’t hide her tail. He would let her be free to choose what she wants to do.
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It’s really strange how different version of this sotry seem to exist all aroudn the world. Just weird.
The Old Shelter – Jazz Age Jazz
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