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Author Comment
AsheLeBeau
Registered User
(8/18/03 7:42 pm)
Mermaid Myths and the Gulf of Mexico??
I was wondering if anyone knew of any myths or stories of mermaids originating in the Gulf of Mexico? I have a project that has been re-kindled by the content of this month's Endicott Studios site.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Alexis

gormghlaith
Registered User
(8/20/03 5:35 pm)
Re: Mermaid Myths and the Gulf of Mexico??
I looked and looked for Gulf mermaids, but all I found was information on manatees, and how they were often mistaken for mermaids.
This bit was interesting:

(The Mayans)..."had a high regard for "tek" (manatee) both because of its fine meat and for the supernatural powers that animal was believed to possess. The earbone of a manatee was especially prized; hung around the neck by a cord, it was believed to protect its owner from all evil powers. The Maya had a special process to prepare dried manatee meat, called "bucan", which was eaten at important feasts and thought to increase a manís strength and virility.

The Spanish explorers found the mermaids, which were then abundant in Guatemala, a welcome source of food. In "Recordation Florida", published in 1700, the famous explorer Fuentes y Guzman wrote, "Not only in Lake Izabal and the Rio Dulce, but along the entire coast from Mexico to Nicaragua they are caught in huge quantities during the whole year". Freebooters and pirates who preyed upon the Spanish ships often anchored along the Guatemalan coast and began to rely upon "bucan" as a staple in their diet, for which they became known as bucaneers..."

from www.mayaparadise.com/dugonge.htm

as a side note, manatees are of the order of Sirenia- siren/mermaid

i hope you can find mer pertinent info, good luck!

Edited by: gormghlaith at: 8/20/03 5:40 pm
Meurglys
Registered User
(8/22/03 4:31 am)
Re: Mermaid Myths and the Gulf of Mexico??
Maybe not much use, but I think James Tiptree (Alice Sheldon) drew on Mayan myths, including seapeople of some sort, in her little book Tales from the Quintana Roo.
It was published by Arkham House; I don't know if the stories were reprinted elsewhere.

janeyolen
Registered User
(8/22/03 6:49 am)
Re: Mermaid Myths and the Gulf of Mexico??
In my book "The Fish Prince and Other Mermen stories" (note merMEN) is a section on Mayan/Mexican manatee stuff.

Jane

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