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The motif Merman, mermaid in HCA : Godfather's Picture Book (1868)
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The motif Merman, mermaid in HCA : Godfather's Picture Book (1868)

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See also Gods, spirits and demons

Keywords:

Sea, sirens

Description of this motif: People of the sea, mermaids and mermen, are demons of the sea, who attract humans with singing and tones. Often the attracted become victims, but the people of the sea aren't necessarily evil. Mer-people are closely related to water-beings, as the man of the stream and the nix.

Example :

"What is it that whistles and sings in the Great Belt under the coast of Samsö? A mermaid, with sea-green hair, rises from the sea; she reveals the future to the peasant. A prince shall be born who shall become a great and powerful king."

"He was born in the field, beneath the blossoming whitethorn.

Comment on this quote: King Christian IV is born, cf. Just Mathias Thiele: Danmarks Folkesagn (1843-60, issued by Rosenkilde og Bagger 1968), vol. 1, p. 53ff;. According to Thiele it is a "thornbush". The bush being a whitethorn is Andersen's addition. The whitethorn symbolizes faith.
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