Mama D'Leau Trinidad Folklore character.

Trini Folklore: Mama D’Leau

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Mama D’Leau and other Trini folklore such as Papa Bois are an oral tradition meant to pass on the next generation’s stories. Other Trini phrases in the vernacular are Kote-si Kote-la, Light Candle, Sprawl Off, Jhorts, Sancoche, Kaka-Nay, Rum Jumbie.

  • Mama Glo, Mama Dlo, Mama D’Leau (n):  A folklore character in the form of a beautiful woman, sometimes snake-like, with long hair and a fish-like tail who lives in rivers.  <French Creole mama dlo/glo <French maman ‘mother’ + de l’eau ‘of the water’>

Trini Folklore

Firstly, folklore in Trinidad and Tobago and many parts of the Caribbean are inspired by West African influences. Secondly, many of their spiritual beliefs and practices were incorporated into the stories shared today. Lastly, some characters in our folklore may even be versions of divinities revered by ancient societies. However, there may have also been a fusion of ideas with the Amerindians and the Westerners, resulting in even more complex mythicisms. Also, stories of encounters with strange folks are not as prevalent as when electricity was scarce, and there were more areas dominated by “bush”. However, that does not mean this rich collection of characters have been accused or disremembered. Above all, they still occupy our combined cognisance and maybe our woods.

In addition, I stumbled upon the YouTube series below narrating all the folklore personalities from Trinidad. Folklore characters from Trinidad such as Papa BoisSoucouyantDouenLa JablessLagahou, and Phantom is a testament to the oral traditions. There is some speculation in the literature on the gender of the Tobago mermaid.

Source: Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago by Lise Winer

Featured Image by KongQueror.

2 thoughts on “Trini Folklore: Mama D’Leau”

  1. Pingback: Loup Garou Trini folklore character as told in Trini bedtime stories.

  2. Pingback: ‘To this day my granny swears her younger sister was taken by a mermaid’ – Modern Times News

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