"The battle between man and sea takes a very unexpected turn as these predatory beings return to reclaim their right to the ocean."

Gil Birmingham is an American actor of Comanche ancestry, best known for his portrayal of Billy Black in The Twilight Saga film series.

Rena Owen is an international award-winning actor and is one of only 6 actors in the world to have worked with both George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg during her illustrious career that spans 3 decades.

One of 9 children, she was born and bred in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand to a Maori/Welsh Father and a European Mother. She was first published at 8 when she won a national children's poetry contest, and throughout her youth, Owen was active in the Maori Culture Club, High School Musical productions, and Community Stage Plays. Despite knowing her talents were in creativity, upon graduating, the Arts were not considered a viable career.

"Siren" takes us inside Bristol Cove--a coastal town known for its legend of once being home to mermaids. When the arrival of a mysterious girl proves this legend all too true, the battle between man and sea takes a very unexpected turn as these predatory beings return to reclaim their right to the ocean.

Of Water Spirits and Men: Mermaids in Native American Mythology

In fact, mermaids are an integral part of Native American mythology and many legends are told of their encounters with humans.

In Native American myths, mermaids are the protagonists of often bittersweet tales that focus on their interactions with humans. Often, individuals are turned into mermaids as a consequence of their actions or choices – highlighting both the impact of our own decisions and how defiance of rules works in isolating us from others. The Passamaquoddy, nowadays one of the most active tribes in Maine, have a tale called He Nwas, the Mermaid, about two women who do not heed the advice they’ve been given and go swimming in the sea where they are supposed not to go. As they repeatedly deceived their elders to feel the fun of swimming unattended, one day they find that after they left their clothes at the beach and swam towards a nearby island, they felt too heavy and unable to return to the shore. As their father searched for them, they realized they had transformed into beautiful mermaids and consoled their grieving family by promising that they would help them carry on the water in their canoe.

HAIDA design Mermaid dance with dolphin

A Sekani myth recounts the story of a mermaid who is captured by a man when he ties her long hair to a tree. He marries her and keeps her with him for a whole winter, but during their second winter together, the man is unable to provide enough food for both of them, so he lets her go back into the sea. She returns regularly with food and they go on to live happily together and start a family. One day she decides to go back into the sea and rubs family members’ mouths with water so that they can follow her into the ocean. They dive in together and are never seen again.

Mermaid Haida Design

Water Spirits and Spirits of the Flood: Mermaids as Embodiment of Nature

On a different note, we find a description of how the first mermen were created in the Potawatomi cosmogony. They tell the story of six men who were good friends and great adventurers, who one day set out to visit the Sun and talk to him. They ask him for eternal life and the ability to give back to their fellow men – and one of them, who wants to be associated with water, is turned into the first merman, taking the form of half man and half fish. Only the last of the six men wishes to remain as he was and return to the human race.

In another myth, the enchanted mermaid Menanna is taken in by an Ottawa warrior, but she will not be released from the spell that deprived her of her human form until she finds true love. Yet, she falls in love with Piskaret, of an enemy tribe called the Adirondacks, who persecute the young lovers. Menanna turns to the Spirits of the Flood for help and they respond: they overwhelm the Adirondacks and overthrow their canoes, killing most of the tribe – expect for Piskaret, who is saved by Menanna. In the Wabanaki mythology, we find the Lumpeguins, who are water sprites or mermaids, and the Mi’kmaq describe their water spirits, the Sabawaelnu or Halfway People, as half human and half fish. They can manipulate storms and respect humans, giving them hints through songs, which allow them to predict weather changes.
Eddie Blitner Taiita "Mermaid Spirit" Aboriginal Art

Whether it is about teaching us the consequences of our actions, underlining our unbreakable bonds with nature and the seas, or providing a vessel for expressing existential beliefs, mermen and mermaids have obtained a unique spot in Native American lore.

Coastal Mermaid Myth Maxine Noel Art 


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