Thursday, March 7, 2013

Goddess Series: Sirena

 This necklace is supposed to give the impression of Sirena (in fish form) swimming in dark waters and also be reminiscent of what a mermaid might wear.  I used nine glass turkish eye beads, various glass bugle and seed beads, fresh water pearls, blue goldstone, and aquamarine chips.  A silver tone clam shell also hangs from the back of the necklace, as a focal drop.

Image by Christine Magtoto
Sirena the Nine-Eyed Mermaid (or Nine-Eyed Fish) comes from the Honduras mythos.  She resides over rivers and lakes and is the keeper of the creatures that live there.  She is said provide respectful fishermen with fish and turtles.  It is believed that those who are not respectful of Sirena and the balance of life in her waters and/or who do not make the appropriate offerings will not be fruitful in catching fish and turtles.  In one story, she imprisons a man and a woman who were too greedy, forcing them to care for the creatures in her watery domains.

There are various stories regarding Sirena, both as a mermaid and as a large fish.  In Guam, there is a folk story about how Sirena was a young girl who was nearly obsessed with swimming in water, especially a river near her home.  One day, her mother sent her out to gather coconut shells/husks to use as fuel for their hearth.  When Sirena found herself near her beloved river, she forgot her task and spent the day swimming in the cool waters.  Her mother was upset and complained to Sirena's godmother, saying that her daughter must be swimming again.  In a fit of rage, her mother cursed her daughter, saying that if Sirena loved the water so much, she should become a fish.  Sirena's godmother quickly interjected that the part of Sirena that was promised to her should remain human.  And so, Sirena was transformed into a mermaid.  When her mother and her godmother searched for her and found her at the river, the mother saw what her words had done, but no matter how hard she tried to wish her curse away, her daughter remained a mermaid.  Sirena swam away and never was seen by her mother or godmother again.

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