The Native American Passamaquoddy tribe of northeastern Maine and Canada tell the story of the Ne Hwas, two girls who disobeyed their mother by swimming where they were told not to go. The water was enchanted and the girls turned into mermaids. Unfortunately for them, their days of playing on the shore were over and they became responsible for towing their parents in a canoe.
(Sisters painting by Linda Olson – Fine Art America)
There are many Native American mermaid tales. You can read about some of them here.
I have discovered that mermaid celebrations are held in numerous communities. One of the best is held each year on Coney Island in New York. You can read about it in
Mermaids on Parade by Melanie Hope Greenberg (author and illustrator.)
This picture book begins – Once a year when vacation starts I march in a parade to celebrate the opening of the ocean during the summer solstice…
Doesn’t this just make you want to join along? This picture book follows a young girl who dresses as a “shy mermaid coming out of her shell,” as she joins many others in the annual Coney Island parade when “mermaids, Neptunes, and other legendary sea creatures leave their oceans to walk on land.” The illustrations are joyful, bright, and festive.
According to author Melanie Hope Greenberg, the festival began in 1903 to celebrate the end of summer beach season. It ended in 1954 but was resurrected in 1983 as the Mermaid Parade. Now it is held at the beginning of the summer beach season and includes hundreds of creative artists, writers, singers, musicians and actors. The 2016 parade will be held on June 18th. Here is the link for information. Maybe I’ll see you there!
Finally, if you are interested in an animated mermaid film, take a look at the 2008 Japanese film, Ponyo, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Loosely based on Anderson’s Little Mermaid, this is a story of a boy and his relationship with a goldfish girl who falls in love with her. It is not a tale of unrequited love, however, but a story of acceptance and wanting what is best for someone you truly care about. Here is an interesting commentary of the movie.
Have you ever been to a mermaid celebration?
This post is part of the A to Z Blog Challenge. I am a member of Pam’s Unconventional Alliance Team along with Shalini who blogs at Something’s Cooking and Tale of Two Tomatoes, Rajlakshmi who blogs at The Twinkle Eyed Traveler, and Parul blogging at Happiness and Food. Pam blogs at the Unconventional Librarian. Stop by and visit them. There’s lots of fun going on!