Sirena – Legend of Sirena of Guam
Among the myths about mermaids and sirens, one story remains very prominently showcased and remembered in the modern society – tale of a lovely girl Sirena who was transformed into a mermaid in a curse. Originally introduced in the early days of Spanish colonization of Pacific (sometimes between 1565 and early 17th century), this tale remains one of the most treasured folklore stories of Guam and the countries that surrounds it. Even today, stories about the life of young Sirena are talked all across Guam, and the local sailors still believe that she sometimes visit their shores.
The story of Sirena starts in her young age while she lived care free life in the city of Agana (near the Minondo River) which was one of the first Spanish settlements in Pacific Ocean. One thing that she liked more than anything was swimming and she used all of her free time for swimming in the sea or Minondo River. One day her mother asked her to collect few coconuts so that their family can eat, but Sirena became distracted, and instead of finding food she spent entire day swimming in the river. At the end of the day Sirena’s mother and grandmother went to look for her, and were astonished to find her playing and swimming in the sea. In a moment of anger, Sirena’s mother turned to her and said “if you love to swim so much then be a fish!”. In an instant, Sirena started felling strange and noticing changes in her body. Thankfully, Sirena’s grandmother quickly interceded and added that she must remain half human, thus saving her life. After a transformation, Sirena was transformed into mermaid, whith the half part of her body turned into a fish. Seeing the results of her curse, Sirena’s mother quickly regretted her words, but the damage was done. Sirena was now forever changed into a mermaid, and after a farewell she swam into the ocean never to be seen again by them.
To this day, sailors and people living in Guam are reporting the sightings of young Sirena, forever watching their shores and protecting them. Folklore stories are saying that Sirena will never appear willingly among the people, and that she can only be caught by net made from human hair.
|Mama Glow or Mama Dlo or Mama Dglo
“Mama Glow” or “Mama Dlo” or “Mama Dglo” whose name is derived from the French “maman de l’ eau” which means “mother of the water” is one of the lesser known personalities of Trinidad and Tobago folklore. A half woman, half snake with long flowing hair which she combs constantly. Her upper torso is a naked, beautiful woman, the lower part coils into a large form of an anaconda snake that is hidden beneath the water. She is sometimes thought to be the lover of Papa Bois, and old hunters tell stories of coming upon them in the ‘High Woods’. They also tell of hearing a loud, cracking sound which is said to be the sound made by her tail as she snaps it on the surface of a mountain pool or a still lagoon. Mortal men who commit crimes against the forest, like burning down trees or indiscriminately putting animals to death or fouling the rivers could find themselves married to her for life, both this one and the one to follow. Sometimes she takes the form of a beautiful woman ‘singing silent songs on still afternoons, sitting at the water’s edge in the sunlight, lingering for a golden moment, a flash of green – gone. Nothing but a big Morte Bleu, rising in the sun beams.
Old people talk: “Did you see a fish jump?” “Yes, but it did not go back in again!” If you were to meet Mama Dlo in the forest and wish to escape her, take off your left shoe, turn it upside down and immediately leave the scene, walking backwards until you reach home.
|Mermaids and Fairymaids
Mermaids and Fairymaids (Tobago Folklore) – There be mermaids here and Leviathan, great denizens of the deep. Amongst the swirling currents and white capped blue-green waters, just where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean, close by St. Giles and near to Misty Marble Island, past Anse Gouleme and Anse Brisant, towards the Bird of Paradise Island and down the coast past Speyside to Fat Hog Bay, it is remembered from long ago that this was where the mermaids came to play.
Tobago mermaids are male and live in the deep, deep sea. They mate with the fairy maids of the rivers and the secret mountain pools. Riding upon the crest of waves, they are handsome men like kings of old or warriors of long ago, beplumed and richly garbed. They may grant a wish, transform mediocrity into genius and confer wealth and power. Sometimes the water people seek relationships with mortals. Some men are particularly attractive to the fairy maids, especially men with smooth skin.
Fairymaids are said to be beautiful with long lush hair and one tiny foot in the shape of a deer’s hoof, she may use her power to “turn” a man’s head. She may steal his shadow and leave him quite demented. In which case, accompanied by friends and family and with the help of a “workman”, he must go to the river and address the water pleading for the restoration of his lost shadow. This done, he must leave the water’s edge and not look back. Fairymaids may be found in caves behind waterfalls or beneath certain bridges where the river runs deep and swift. In days gone by, they were seen near certain water wheels. To discontinue a relationship with a fairy queen, offerings of two pairs of shoes must be made. The first must be burnt on the beach, the fairymaid will then rise out of the water and ask if she is to be paid for past services. The answer must be “nothing but this pair of shoes”. The second must then be thrown into the waves.