Among the Mermaids


Title: Among the Mermaids

Writer: Varla Ventura

Publishing House: Weiser Books

Date of Publication: July 1st 2013

Rating: 5 stars

‘’Since the first stories were told, the sea has been the folklore, myth and mystery in every corner of the earth, and the life-sustaining and life-threatening centre of every coastal culture. Its sheer vastness holds a promise of power and the unknown and leagues under the surface lives a world as different from ours as another planet’s.’’

A cute and informative guide to all the secrets that are well hidden deep in the water, the realm of the mermaids and their legends. Along with stories of old, narrated by some of the most important folklore writers, we learn about the most prominent mermaid figures in World Culture.

The queens are the Irish mermaids and the selkies of the well-known myths from beautiful Orkney in Scotland. We will meet Lorelei, residing in the Rhine, Yemaya, the Queen of the World in Santeria, Nuliajuk, the vengeful spirit of the Innuit legends, the Mermaid of San Francisco Bay, the alluring temptress of Zennor, commemorated by the very real Mermaid Chair.

But there are also ‘’real’’ mermaids, women who have turned water into their natural habitat, like the amazing women in Jeju island, in Korea. And there are myths. Myths are always present to remind us how mermaid tears turn into pearls, to amaze us with strange incidents experienced by tourists in Bermuda. They are immortalized in beautiful mermaid statues (and I was delighted to see the Paros Mermaid, here, in Greece, had been included), in myths of ghost ships, seaweeds lore and nautical curiosities.

‘’Oh, then, Dunmore Castle, it is you that are the gloomy-looking tower on a gloomy day, with the gloomy hills behind you, when one has gloomy thoughts on their heart, and sees you like a ghost rising out of the smoke made by the kelp burners on the strand, there, the Lord save us! as fearful a look about you as about the Blue Man’s Lake at midnight.’’