There be mermaid here and Leviathan, great residents of the underwater. Amongst the writhing tides and white-capped blue-green waters, just where the Caribbean Sea reaches the Atlantic Ocean.
- Mermaid (n) Tobago: The mermaid or fairy maid is a folklore character of a woman with a fish tail instead of legs, who lives in a river or in the sea near the coast. She is not dangerous or evil but can pull people under the water, take them travelling, and then return them to shore.
- It used to have a mermaid in the river here, but nobody ent see she for donkey years now.
Growing up in the little fishing village of Mayaro in Trinidad my grandfather maintained a fishing vessel. He would often let us accompanying him in the evenings when he travelled to Ortoire to check on the crew before their night fishing. Upon the seamen’s return the next morning they carried with them not only their catch from the previous night but tales from the sea. Between the myths of mermaids and the encounters with Venezuelan coast guards, there was never a dull moment.
I stumbled upon the YouTube series below narrating all the folklore personalities from Trinidad. My series on other folklore characters from Trinidad such as Papa Bois, Soucouyant, Douen, La Jabless, Mama De Leau , Lagahou, and Phantom is a testament to the importance of oral traditions on the island. 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 Stefan Keller from Pixabay