Interesting beliefs about Mermaids and Water-Spirits
Are the abodes of water-spirits threatened?
Are mermaids real in flesh and blood?
Modernization vs supertition
What are mermaids?
Mermaids are said to be creatures that inhabit in water. Tales about them are believed to have been around us some 300 years ago. They’re passed from generation to generation by word of mouth and from magazines and books that we read. Indeed they’re favorite bedtime stories circulating in all countries, from the richest in their palaces to the lowly in their huts. They are colorful and interesting. Some described them as exceedingly pretty and with bodies perfectly carved.
Half-human, half fish
Half-human, half fish, they possess no immortal soul and can only have one if married and loved by a human being. And, if fortunate to find her human lover, it’s time for her to sing and cry like a human being. They’re rumored to have snatched people and brought them underwater. Return of the victim is said to be nil if too much anger is manifested against them by the victim’s relatives. And it is advised not to mourn so much for missing individuals if believed taken by mermaids so they can come back and return as spirit mediums.
The following are equally amazing stories about mermaids or water-spirits from other parts of the world.
Water spirits are believed to take the form of half or whole human in Northern and Central Europe. When half human, their lower body is that of a fish. Merrow, according to folklore of the west coast of Ireland, is a type of mermaid which when sighted heralds the coming of gales. A few took humans as partners it was believed. They also have the uncanny power to change form into hornless cows on land.
Folklores from the Baltic Region, Germany and Poland
Fishermen in the Baltic region have a high regard for water-spirits as guardians of fish. They believed their lakes, springs and seas are abodes of both male and female water beings. Befriending these water-spirits they believed would give them a good catch and protection from harm, drowning or bad weather during travel. For this purpose, their first catch or the head of a black cat are given during rites as offering.
Nix and his wife in human form with bad character exist in the folklores of Germany and Poland. Believed living in their ponds, rivers and lakes, water-man Nix would tempt people passing by to take their bath in to drown them. Drowned persons with blue spots on their body are said to be the workings of nixes. To see Nix’s wife bleaching laundry on the river banks was a sign of rainy days or flood to come. The going up and down of the prices of products like butter and grain they believed are caused by water-man Nix and his partner.
So. Carolina, Congo, and North American Indian folklores
Cymbees are water-spirits in human form that inhabit the low-country of South Carolina They were similar as those that exist among indigenous natives populating the Congo. The Bisimbi spirits of the Congo possessed great powers and were feared. They are said to stir up high winds and unleash tornadoes which make people tremble with fear. When they see people coming to fetch water from the pool where they lived, they surfaced to scare them
Giving offerings like gifts, food and tobacco to a creator god and water-spirits is an acknowledgment among the North American Indians to the value of water which they held in great respect. Water to them is important in their lives because of their faith that water-spirits dwell in their lakes and rivers and that to lead an eventful and successful lives, they must offer gifts and rites to win their goodwill. To continue the practice, women are tasked to teach their daughters and female generations to come how to make offerings to the spirits. In return, they believed, water-spirits protect their kids while playing, swimming and skiing in the water. This account says water-spirits are formless.
A big problem delayed the completion of the reservoirs
Not long ago Zimbabweans have encountered a big problem about mermaids. They believed mermaids were to blame for their water reservoir projects not to be finished on time. Reporters got wind of this problem. It was published and highlighted. The news report said that workers black and white have ceased working. They refused to go back to work at the reservoir sites at Gokwe and Mutare. Mermaids they say have drove them away and are afraid of them. Likewise, government officials who were on errand to investigate this unlikely event swear never to set foot on the sites again, said the country’s Water Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo.
In the presence of water committee members of their parliament, Minister Nkomo apprised them of this abnormal issue. He said the spirit world must be appeased. The solution he said lies in the brewing of traditional beer and performing rites to appease the spirits.
Zimbabwean as well are no exception. Just like others, they have a firm belief that not only humans inhabit the earth. Perhaps they’ve encountered one and believing mermaids are aggrieved due to the construction of the reservoirs, they’re hesitant to report back to work. Zimbabwean officials and politicians, too, are no exception to the folklore which is now raring its ugly head in their midst. They believe mermaids are present in their reservoirs and in others, too.
Reservoirs are now completed and working
Once Zimbabwe enjoyed the limelight as Southern Africa ‘bread basket’. It was looked up to with awe and respect by the neighboring countries. The government wants to have back that lost glory so it is stepping up its agricultural pursuits toward that direction. However politics and lack of faith in governmental policy have pushed their dream a little farther. Occasioned by the belief in mermaids, the completion of the reservoirs which is vital in providing enough water to its constituents and to boost its agricultural production is way behind schedule.
Expropriation of some 4,000 farms tilled by the whites and handed to blacks of same political color was done by President Robert Mugabe in 2000 as a matter of policy in pursuing and updating the country’s agricultural output.
This year’s agricultural output is forecasted to be at its second lowest level since Zimbabwe was granted its independence by Britain in 1980.
Minister of Zimbabwe’s Local Government Department Ignatius Chombo said his government has all the water for the people’s need but will wait until the mermaids are appeased and the reservoirs are completed.
Zimbabweans three quarters of them live on less than 1 US dollar a day.
Good news! In Global Post Report, dated February 12, 2012, the mermaid-plagued reservoirs in Zimbabwe are now working after local quacks brewed beer to gain the water-spirits goodwill. The harassed workers were now able to install successfully the water pumps near the town of Gokwe and the works at Osborne Dam near Mutare as well.
Source: UK News