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The Merfolk

Updated: Mar 22

A mermaid printed on top of waves linocut print in blue
The Merfolk by The Coventina Press

Merfolk have a long and interesting history, they have been given many names and many shapes, starting in 1000BC in Assyria. The fertility goddess Atargatis became a mermaid after casting herself into a lake from shame and grief after losing her lover. She transformed in to a fish, but her divine beauty could not be contained and her upper half returned to being the shape of a woman.

In greek mythology, before mermaids there were sirens. Sirens were half woman, half bird. They were scary creatures who would kill any sailor who saw them. Sirens transformed over the centuries into mermaids and are often depicted as mermaids today. Both mythical creatures were seducers, and were very dangerous. Mermiads are said to have a beautiful voice that could lead sailors to their death.

Mermaids became a part of the sailor culture and many sightings of them existed from as far back as the 1st century with the Romans in Gaul, all the way up to the present. Christopher Columbus believed he saw mermaids in the Caribbean.

The Merfolk hand printed linocut is available to buy here and as a greeting card here


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