Mermaid Monday: Pacific Northwest Sea Goddess

blackwhitesketchMermaid Monday explores a mermaid legend from the Pacific Northwest this week. Is it the tale of a monster from the deep, or a harmless and alluring beauty? First Nations people have left us another mysterious tale sure to intrigue cryptozoology lovers. Let’s take a look!

This story, coming from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, is brought to us by the Inuit people. It is the tale of Sedna.

Long ago Sedna was a beautiful young Inuit woman who was pursued by many admirers. It’s hard to believe, but she shunned them all in favor of a seabird, who was known to be a trickster. But he promised her a lovely life together on a beautiful island and she believed him.

The reality, however, was disappointing. Somehow Sedna’s father found out she was unhappy so he rowed out to the island to rescue her. He killed Sedna’s husband first, then they escaped in their boat.

Sedna03Tough Love

The seabird’s friends were angry at what happened, so they followed the father and daughter and caused a great storm to form which threatened to capsize the boat and drown them. The father decided to throw Sedna overboard, but as she clung to the side of the boat, he chopped off her fingers and she fell to the bottom of the sea. (Ouch!! So much for fatherly love!)

Once she hit bottom, Sedna transformed into the Sea Goddess revered by the local people. They believe her fingers transformed into the marine life that sustains them throughout the year – fish, seals, and some whales.

Overall Sedna is benevolent, but if her people anger her by not showing her respect, she causes terrible storms to arise, thereby preventing the people from fishing and sustaining themselves.

Sedna01Folklorists’ Note

An interesting note is that in early Inuit tales, Sedna remains a human woman, though she lives in the sea. However, after the Inuit encountered European sailors and their ships – complete with mermaid figureheads on the front of their ships – Sedna’s appearance “changed” to the half woman, half fish persona, like most mermaids around the world.

Mermaid Monday on Hiatus

Wanted to let you know that my Mermaid Monday series is taking a hiatus at least until the New Year, possibly longer. You can check under the “Mermaid Monday” topic (see “Articles by Topic” drop down menu, above right) for more Mermaid themed articles and stories!

In the meantime, CryptoVille will be covering other interesting and exciting creatures, so please stay tuned for those!

Remember to keep your eyes open and cameras ready for the ladies and gents that we love cavorting in the sea! Tail slap!


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