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Mermaids have been a popular subject of art and literature in recent centuries, such as in Hans Christian Andersen 's literary fairy tale " The Little Mermaid " They have subsequently been depicted in operas, paintings, books, comics, animation, and live action films.
The word mermaid is a compound of the Old English mere sea , and maid a girl or young woman. The sirens of Greek mythology especially the Odyssey , conceived of as half-bird and half-woman, gradually shifted to the image of a fish-tailed woman.
This shift possibly started as early as the Hellenistic Period ,  but is clearly evident in mermaid-like depictions of "sirens" in later Christian bestiaries.
Some attributes of Homer 's sirens, such as the enticement of men and their beautiful song, also became attached to the mermaid. There are also naturalist theories on the origins of the mermaid, postulating they derive from sightings of the manatee , or dugong or even seals.
Depictions of entities with the tails of fish, but upper bodies of human beings appear in Mesopotamian artwork from the Old Babylonian Period onwards.
The first known mermaid stories appeared in Assyria c. The goddess Atargatis , mother of Assyrian queen Semiramis , loved a mortal a shepherd and unintentionally killed him.
Ashamed, she jumped into a lake and took the form of a fish , but the waters would not conceal her divine beauty. Thereafter, she took the form of a mermaid—human above the waist, fish below—although the earliest representations of Atargatis showed her as a fish with a human head and arm, similar to the Babylonian god Ea.
He thought that humans, who begin life with prolonged infancy , could not have survived otherwise. There is a mermaid legend attached around the sister of Alexander the Great, but that legend is of modern mintage see below.
But other men swear that Semiramis of Babylonia, whose deeds are many in Asia , also founded this site, and not for Hera but for her own mother, whose name was Derketo.
I saw Derketo's likeness in Phoenicia , a strange marvel. It is woman for half its length; but the other half, from thighs to feet, stretched out in a fish's tail.
But the image in the Holy City is entirely a woman, and the grounds for their account are not very clear. They consider fish to be sacred, and they never eat them; and though they eat all other fowls they do not eat the dove , for they believe it is holy.
And these things are done, they believe, because of Derketo and Semiramis, the first because Derketo has the shape of a fish, and the other because ultimately Semiramis turned into a dove.
Well, I may grant that the temple was a work of Semiramis perhaps; but that it belongs to Derketo I do not believe in any way.
For among the Egyptians some people do not eat fish, and that is not done to honor Derketo. In his Natural History 9. He comments that the governor of Gaul even wrote a letter to Emperor Augustus to inform him.
They can and do interbreed with land humans, and the children of such unions have the ability to live underwater. In the tale " Abdullah the Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman ", the protagonist Abdullah the Fisherman gains the ability to breathe underwater and discovers an underwater society that is portrayed as an inverted reflection of society on land.
The underwater society follows a form of primitive communism where concepts like money and clothing do not exist.
In " The Adventures of Bulukiya ", the protagonist Bulukiya's quest for the herb of immortality leads him to explore the seas, where he encounters societies of mermaids.
The Norman chapel in Durham Castle , built around , has what is probably the earliest surviving artistic depiction of a mermaid in England.
Mermaids appear in British folklore as unlucky omens, both foretelling disaster and provoking it.
In some versions, she tells them they will never see land again; in others, she claims they are near shore, which they are wise enough to know means the same thing.
Mermaids have also been described as able to swim up rivers to freshwater lakes. In one story, the Laird of Lorntie went to aid a woman he thought was drowning in a lake near his house; a servant of his pulled him back, warning that it was a mermaid, and the mermaid screamed at them that she would have killed him if it were not for his servant.
According to legend, a mermaid came to the Cornish village of Zennor where she used to listen to the singing of a chorister, Matthew Trewhella.
The two fell in love, and Matthew went with the mermaid to her home at Pendour Cove. On summer nights, the lovers can be heard singing together.
At the Church of Saint Senara in Zennor, there is a famous chair decorated by a mermaid carving which is probably six hundred years old.
Some tales raised the question of whether mermaids had immortal souls, answering in the negative. After three centuries, when Christianity had come to Ireland, she was baptized.
In Scottish mythology , a ceasg is a fresh-water mermaid, though little beside the term has been preserved in folklore. Mermaids from the Isle of Man , known as ben-varrey , are considered more favorable toward humans than those of other regions,  with various accounts of assistance, gifts and rewards.
One story tells of a fisherman who carried a stranded mermaid back into the sea and was rewarded with the location of treasure. Another recounts the tale of a baby mermaid who stole a doll from a human little girl, but was rebuked by her mother and sent back to the girl with a gift of a pearl necklace to atone for the theft.
A third story tells of a fishing family that made regular gifts of apples to a mermaid and was rewarded with prosperity. A freshwater mermaid-like creature from European folklore is Melusine.
She is sometimes depicted with two fish tails, or with the lower body of a serpent. A world-famous statue of the Little Mermaid, based on Andersen's fairy tale, has been in Copenhagen , Denmark since August , with copies in 13 other locations around the world—almost half of them in North America.
During the Romanesque period, mermaids were often associated with lust. The conception of the siren as both a mermaid-like creature and part bird-like persisted in Byzantine Greece for some time.
She would ask the sailors on any ship she would encounter only one question: "Is King Alexander alive? Any other answer would enrage her, and she would stir up a terrible storm, dooming the ship and every sailor on board.
Rusalkas are the Slavic counterpart of the Greek sirens and naiads. Zelenin they all share a common element: they are the restless spirits of the unclean dead.
Rusalkas are said to inhabit lakes and rivers. They appear as beautiful young women with long pale green hair and pale skin, suggesting a connection with floating weeds and days spent underwater in faint sunlight.
They can be seen after dark, dancing together under the moon and calling out to young men by name, luring them to the water and drowning them. The characterization of rusalkas as both desirable and treacherous is prevalent in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and was emphasized by 19th-century Russian authors.
Merfolk are mentioned in the Shanhaijing Classic of Mountains and Seas compilation of Chinese geography and mythology, dating from the 4th century BC.
She looks human in every respect except that her body is covered with fine hair of many colors. She cannot talk, but he takes her home and marries her.
After his death, the mermaid returns to the sea where she was found. In the second story, a man sees a woman lying on the beach while his ship was anchored offshore.
On closer inspection, her feet and hands appear to be webbed. She is carried to the water, and expresses her gratitude toward the sailors before swimming away.
Korea is bounded on three sides by the sea. In some villages near the sea in Korea, there are mysterious stories about mermaids.
Mermaids have features just like humans. Kim Dam Ryeong, who was a mayor of the town, saved four captured mermaids from a fisherman, as recorded in the Eou yadam unofficial histories.
The island's residents believed her to be goddess of the sea and that she could predict the weather. In certain prominent depictions, the ningyo is not quite half-female, but has a human female head resting on a fish-like body.
It was said to have a pair of golden horns, a red belly, three eyes on each side of its torso, and a carp-like tail end.
It is not discernible whether the flesh was a female; a pair of translators call it a "flesh of a mermaid" in one book,  but merely a "strange fish with a human face" in another.
In Cambodia , she is referred as Sovanna Maccha, a favorite for Cambodian audiences. She has many forms, where in her mermaid form, she is called Nyai Blorong.
In the Philippines , mermaid concepts differ per ethnic group. Among the Pangasinense, the Binalatongan mermaid is a Queen of the sea who married the mortal Maginoo Palasipas and ruled humanity for a time.
The general term for mermaid among all ethnic groups is Sirena. Suvannamaccha lit. She is a mermaid princess who tries to spoil Hanuman's plans to build a bridge to Lanka but falls in love with him instead.
She is a popular figure of Thai folklore. Mami Water Lit. They are usually female, but are sometimes male. They are regarded as diabolical beings, and are often femme fatale, luring men to their deaths.
In Zimbabwe mermaids are known as "njuzu". They are believed to be solitary and occupy one body of water.
Individual njuzu may be benevolent or malicious. Angry njuzu may be blamed for unexpected misfortunes, such as bad weather, or the sudden disappearance of people.
Benevolent njuzu are thought to reside in peaceful lakes or rivers. If a person goes missing near such lakes or rivers, he or she may have been taken by the njuzu.
To obtain the person's release, local elders will brew beer as a propitiatory offering, and ask the njuzu to return the person alive.
Those seeking the person's release are not supposed to cry or shed tears. If the njuzu releases the person, he or she will become, or be regarded as a n'anga , or traditional healer, with knowledge of herbs, medicinal plants, and cures.
Examples from other cultures are the jengu of Cameroon , the iara of Brazil and the Greek oceanids , nereids and naiads.
The ningyo is a fishlike creature from Japanese folklore, and consuming its flesh bestows amazing longevity.
Mermaids and mermen are also characters of Philippine folklore , where they are locally known as sirena and siyokoy respectively.
According to Dorothy Dinnerstein 's book The Mermaid and the Minotaur , human-animal hybrids such as mermaids and minotaurs convey the emergent understanding of the ancients that human beings were both one with and different from animals:.
In , sailing off the coast of Hispaniola , Christopher Columbus spotted three sirens or mermaids Spanish : serenas which he said were not as beautiful as they are represented, due to some masculine features in their faces, but these are considered to be sightings of manatees.
During Henry Hudson's second voyage, on June 15, , members of his crew reported sighting a mermaid in the Arctic Ocean, either in the Norwegian or Barents Seas.
Two sightings were reported in Canada near Vancouver and Victoria , one from sometime between and , the other from In February , work on two reservoirs near Gokwe and Mutare in Zimbabwe stopped when workers refused to continue, stating that mermaids had hounded them away from the sites.
It was reported by Samuel Sipepa Nkomo , the water resources minister. A celebrated example of mermaid hoax was the Feejee mermaid exhibited in London in and later in America by P.
Barnum in ,  in this case an investigator claims to have traced the mermaid's manufacture to a Japanese fisherman.
A similar fake "mermaid" at the Horniman Museum  has also been reassessed by another curator as a "merman". Fake mermaids made in China and the Malay archipelago out of monkey and fish parts were imported into Europe by Dutch traders since the midth century, and their manufactures are thought to go back earlier.
In the middle of the 17th century, John Tradescant the elder created a wunderkammer called Tradescant's Ark in which he displayed, among other things, a "mermaid's hand".
The topic of mermaids in earnest has arisen in several instances of scientific scrutiny, including a biological assessment of the unlikelihood of the supposed evolutionary biology of the mermaid on the popular marine science website, DeepSeaNews.
Five of the primary reasons listed as to why mermaids don't fit current evolutionary understanding are:. Mermaids were also discussed tongue-in-cheek in a scientific article by University of Washington emeritus oceanographer Karl Banse.
The best-known example of mermaids in literature is probably Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, " The Little Mermaid ", first published in The mermaid falls in love with a human prince, [d] and also longs for an eternal soul like humans, despite the shorter life-span.
The two cravings are intertwined: only by achieving true love will her soul bind with a human's and become everlasting. But the mermaid's fish-tail poses an insurmountable obstacle for enticing humans, and the sea-witch offers a potion to transform into human form, at a price the mermaid's tongue and beautiful voice.
The mermaid endures the excruciating pain of having human legs, and despite her inability to speak, almost succeeds in wedding the prince, but for a twist of fate.
After all, she depicts a highly valuable member of a mermaid kingdom. Nonetheless, catching a glimpse of at least 2 Mermaid Queen tokens as spin-outcomes, already garners a Scatter Pay equal to 2x the current Total Bet.
Those images have high range of payouts, especially the Dolphins and Pirate Ships. Both elements award pays on as few as 2 alike images that land on the leftmost positions of a paying line.
They award the same payout values of 2x, 25x, x or x the Line Bet on a 2, 3, 4 or 5-of-a-kind payline win. The dashing Pirate Captain represents the Wild icon.
His image can stand-in as alternative element, if for purposes of completing or extending a payline combo.
The multiplier though, applies only, if one or more Pirate Wilds helped complete a payline win. Remember, the 2x Multiplier does not apply to this type of Wild combo win.
Land a spin outcome depicting sightings of 3 or more Mermaid Queen images anywhere across the ocean-themed grid.
Kellerman has the requisite tale of rising above adversity that makes for a stirring biography. I was reminded of the David Diaz illustrated picture book biography Wilma Unlimited about another girl who spent her early years in leg braces only to become an athletic superstar.
Of course, Ms. Corey was going to have to figure out how much of Ms. Kellerman's life to tell. This is what intrigues me about picture book biographies.
You have to show enough of a life to give a sense of wonder and accomplishment. So how much do you tell? Interestingly Ms.
Kellerman's early years actually don't consist of the bulk of this story. Her youth is summarized in just eight pages or so and then she's off to see the world.
The rest of the book is given over to her performances, her accomplishments, and in the last four pages she isn't pictured at all.
Instead you see the women who owe a debt to Ms. Kellerman, and a montage of swimsuits throughout the ages. It's a very interesting way to tie the book up.
Not every picture book biography requires that you follow the subject from birth to death making this title is a good model for exactly that. I know that a year or so ago people started to get a little dewy-eyed over Mr.
Edwin Fotheringham, illustrator extraordinaire. People liked the book, but they went positively gaga over Mr. Fotheringham's illustrations.
I liked them at the time, but I feel like my current reaction to Mermaid Queen is akin to what folks were saying about Alice.
This book is a visual stunner from start to finish. Done in "digital media", liquid is Fotheringham's muse. The endpapers are a cheery orange in the front, yellow in the back, with a wave and bubble pattern that shows up time and again throughout the story.
Water makes its way into every spread, whether glimpsed beyond the curtains where Annette's father and mother would play music, or seen reflected in the sky of Piccadilly Circus.
Even a later court scene where Annette is nearly sentenced, her dress pattern is that of a whirling swirling sea. The use of color in this book is another matter entirely.
Fotheringham has chosen certain shades of green and blue and orange and peppered the book with them. And look too at when he uses one color or another for water.
The first time Annette is brought into the ocean by her father she's frightened of what she sees. The blue is impenetrable.
Deep and uncut by waves or swirls. When she has grown comfortable with it and made it her own, Annette's water is a frothy green shot through with white bubbles and swirls.
Swimming the River Thames and that green becomes the thick sludge of a polluted murk, complete with floating discarded waste.
After that, the English Channel is black and cold, and the only spot of color on the page Annette's red bandanna on her head, the red of her lips, and the red of a sandwich held out to her on a stick.
It's the gloomiest image in the book, possibly because it is one of the moments when Annette failed in some way. There are few others.
There will probably be some question of historical accuracy in terms of Annette's clothing. Did her bathing suits all look like the ones in the book?
It doesn't matter much to me, but there may be some debate amongst others. In terms of written accuracy, Ms. Corey has done the lion's share of research here.
The Author's Note in the back accompanied by a photograph of the real Annette goes on for three full pages, and is then followed by an Acknowledgments page which sites sources, biographers, and even cites individual quotes from each page of this book.
Everything from Annette marveling "My word" to a policeman saying, "Hey - what are you doing in that suit?
Both books discuss the lives of people who became international sensations and then went on to promote health, exercise, and wellness in a time when folks weren't too concerned with those particular things.
What really allows Mermaid Queen to stand apart from the pack is its ability to tell a story beautifully, with eye-popping illustrations to boot.
Gorgeous and fun, this is a picture book biography that others should model themselves on. You'll be glad to have read it. Ages Feb 15, Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it Recommends it for: anyone interested in swimming, people overcoming adversity, innovators.
Shelves: picture-books , readbooks-male-author-or-illust , readbooks-female-author-or-illust , zz-4star , biography , groups-buddies , non-fiction , reviewed , z I thank the Children's Books group for introducing me to this book.
She was an Australian woman who was sickly as a child and was taught to swim to strengthen her health; she made a name for herself in Europe and America, and was famous during her lifetime.
The illustrations are delightful. I love what the artist does with waves and water. Well, and the fashion aspect turned out to be practical, one that allowed women the freedom to swim unencumbered, so I did find that part of the story interesting.
View 2 comments. Mar 03, Gail rated it it was amazing. I was attracted to this children's book because of the title, but loved it because I learned something new.
Annette Kellerman invented the first bathing suit that women could actually swim in and water ballet. Thanks for the recommendation Carrie Haner!
Oct 25, Becky Bass rated it it was amazing Shelves: gender-gender-roles-text-set , children-s-book-reviews. Mermaid Queen is about Annette Kellerman who became a strong female athlete who swam her way to history.
This book tells the story how Annette could barely even walk and how her father taught her to swim to strengthen her legs.
She became very good and began to set records, but people were not used to seeing female athletes. Annette loved the thought of dancing and swimming and invented beautiful dives.
People would be shocked at the distances she could swim. Annette challenged the standard and Mermaid Queen is about Annette Kellerman who became a strong female athlete who swam her way to history.
She had no fear! This book is a wonderful historical narrative of her life. It tells a story of a woman breaking barriers regardless of people feeling uncomfortable due to gender norms.
This book would be a wonderful source of empowerment for younger readers, and it is an easy an exciting text to read in the classroom.
Nov 19, Rachel rated it it was amazing. Her father taught her to swim so that her legs would get stronger. Once she was strong she realized that her swimming was her own form of being a ballerina.
She decided to share her art with the world but no one could get over the fact that she was a girl! No one took her seriously. So she decided to make them take her seriously and she ended up changing the swimsuit world and the view on female athletes forever!
This story passes along the lesson that if you set your mind to something, anything is possible. The font and style of the text goes really well with the context of the story.
It is curvy and wavy and some words are bigger than the rest and make a splash! The text is found directly on the illustrations and it is all over the page, wherever there is room!
I absolutely adored this story. One of the biggest struggles in this genre is that young children do not always want to read to learn about history so they often stay away from biographies such as this.
This one though, is definitely one that they would gravitate towards! Aug 05, Jenny rated it really liked it Shelves: biography , character-ed , picture-books , children-s-books.
Annette Kellerman wanted to dance but she could barely walk and needed braces. Her father taught her to swim to strengthen her legs and she became a famous swimmer.
She swam in the Thames and tried to cross the English Channel. This was at a time when women weren't encouraged to swim or exercise and definitely didn't show their bare legs.
She broke many barriers. What I liked most was the determination that Kellerman showed. In the author's note, it explains that as a child she was scared of the Annette Kellerman wanted to dance but she could barely walk and needed braces.
In the author's note, it explains that as a child she was scared of the water and she struggled to learn to swim.