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Mermaids Haiti

The Haitian Mermaid Lasiren has a long tradition and plays an important role in the religious Haitian Vodou beliefs to this day. This mermaid is deeply woven into Haitian culture. Some Haitian people even report that they or their relatives saw mermaids in Haiti themselves. Last year people started talking about the stories they heard about Haitian mermaids on Twitter. The thread blew up and brought many fascinating and scary stories to the light of day.

The Mermaids of Haiti

Mermaids Haiti
Mermaids Haiti

What is behind these stories of a mermaid taking people under the ocean with her? Who is this mermaid and what do mermaids represent in Haitian culture? 

Lasiren is the queen of the ocean and the maritime version of the spirits of love and beauty. Lasiren is a legendary mermaid queen who is well-known in Haitian folklore. She is believed to inhabit a beautiful underwater castle, while sometimes surfacing to be observed by humans. Uncertainty exists as to whether Lasiren is the only mermaid in the sea surrounding Haiti or if there are several. This is supported by artwork of various mermaids, suggesting the presence of more than one mythical creature. As a mermaid, Lasiren is associated with the ocean and is seen as a symbol of love and elegance.

This mermaid queen is thought to live in a luxurious palace underwater but also comes to the surface regularly where she can be seen by humans. She is worshipped mainly in the form of a mermaid. She is an important figure in the Haitian Vodou religion and represents the three faces of the feminine together with her two sisters Danto and Freda. Lasiren is also known to have an affair with Ogou, who is the Lwa of war and power. 

Lasiren is known as the beautiful mermaid of Haiti. It is also interesting to note that Christopher Columbus said he saw three mermaids off the coast of Haiti when he sailed to America in 1493.

Why are Mermaids in Haitian Culture?

Lesiren is an important figure in the Haitian Voodoo religion and culture. It is important to note that Voodoo is not what is typically portrayed in Hollywood horror films, but rather a spiritual system worshipping a single supreme god, Bondye, or “the good god”.

Additionally, Voodooists believe in spirits known as Lwa or Loa, who are involved in everyday activities and are more visible in people’s lives. Of these, Lesiren is one of the most well-known mermaids in Haiti and an essential Lwa. She is part of the Rada, Petro, and Ghede families of Lwa and is an important figure in the Haitian Voodoo religion.

What are Mermaids called in Haiti?

Mermaids in Haiti are called Lasiren. She is one of the most well-known and recognizable figures in Haitian history. Lasiren is a female Haitian water spirit who is the queen of the ocean and the maritime version of the spirits of love and beauty. She is venerated as a mermaid and is said to come to the surface of the ocean frequently.

Lasirn is one of these mermaids and her identity is a combination of the two other mermaids – one being cool and seductive, while the other is fiery, passionate and strong. Lasirn embodies both of these personalities, making her a unique and powerful figure in Haitian mythology.

What does Lasiren mean?

The Mermaids of Haiti
The Mermaids of Haiti

Lasiren is a term derived from the French language, which means “the mermaid” or “the siren”. This term was adopted as a result of the French colonization of Haiti in the 17th century. 

Haitian people then converted the term to “Loa Afrodisia”, meaning “The Great Goddess”. Although French is an official language of Haiti. It is spoken by a few people, the majority of Haitians communicate in Haitian Creole, a combination of African languages, the native Tanoi language and French.

In English, the term “la sirène” translates more accurately as “the mermaid”. The distinction between mermaids and sirens became blurred over time in Romance languages, such as French, and therefore one word – “la sirène” – is used to refer to both creatures.

What does Lasiren look like?

Lasiren Haiti
Lasiren Haiti

Lasiren is known as the beautiful mermaid of Haiti. But there is not one specific description of what she exactly looks like, it is no clear description of her appearance. She is usually depicted as a beautiful woman with long black hair and is occasionally represented with a fishtail.

Most often she is depicted as a mermaid with a fish tail. Sometimes, however, she is also depicted as a beautiful human woman. In art, Lasiren is often depicted in Haitian flags and banners. These are handmade and often have up to 10,000 sequins and sparkling beads included.
La Sirene

Lasiren is said to be an aquatic spirit with many abilities, and is often connected with Haitian flag rituals. The flags used in Lasiren rituals are handcrafted and decorated with small stones. Though Lasiren is not a mermaid, her mythical form has been likened to one, with a possible fishtail beneath her long dress.

Where do Mermaids Live?

Mermaids are often thought to live in the ocean in luxurious palaces underwater. Some people also believe that mermaids come to the surface of the ocean regularly where they can be seen by humans. Mermaids are mythical creatures that are believed to inhabit the seas. They are described as having the upper body of a human female and the lower body of a fish. 

Tales of mermaids have been around for centuries and can be found in various cultures worldwide, from Ireland to the Karoo desert. Mermaid sightings are still reported to this day, although it is uncertain whether these sightings are true or just folklore.

Where did Mermaids Originate from?

Mermaids have been part of human culture for centuries. The earliest known mention is in Babylonian mythology from around 5000 BC, where the god Ea is described as having both the body of a human and that of a fish.

Mermaids are believed to have originated in many cultures around the world. The earliest accounts of mermaids appearing in Assyria around 1000 BC , where the beautiful fertility goddess Atargatis became a mermaid after throwing herself into a lake. This story was later adopted by the Greeks. They further developed the concept of mermaids with the Nereids, the Tritons, the Sirens and Thessalonike (sister of Alexander the Great). Despite its prevalence in mythology, it is unclear whether mermaids have ever existed in reality.

Tales of mermaids have since been found in cultures in Asia, Africa, Europe, and beyond. 

Mermaids (sometimes called Sirens) and mermen were considered natural beings with magical and prophetic powers in Europe. In the Middle East, stories about mermaids go back to the Syrian goddess Atargatis, who was considered the ruler of the seas.

Within African mythology, mermaids are known as Mami Wata and are said to bring both blessings and calamity.

In South American cultures, such as Brazil, mermaids are known as Iara and are blamed for the disappearance of men in the Amazon.

Who was the First Person to see a Mermaid?

Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus

The first recorded sighting of a mermaid was by an Italian explorer named Christopher Columbus in 1493. He reported seeing three ‘mermaids’ off the coast of the Dominican Republic. This encounter was documented by Columbus himself. He described the creatures as a combination of human and animal appearance, including “masculine features in their faces”. In reality, these were likely manatees.

How are Mermaid Born?

Mermaid on the Beach
Mermaid on the Beach

Mermaids have traditionally been thought to reproduce in a manner similar to fish, with babies being hatched from eggs. However, it is also possible for mermaids to become pregnant and give live birth, similar to dolphins. In either case, the process of how mermaids are born remains largely a mystery.

It is likely that mermaids would be live-bearing like bigger shark species or sea mammals like dolphins. Behaviourally they are more similar to dolphins than sharks though. Live-bearing mermaids received oxygen and food for their babies directly from the mother through an umbilical cord. The baby was carried in the mother’s womb for 9-12 months until it was born.

What Food do Mermaids Eat?

Mermaids are known for their healthy and youthful appearance. So Mermaids are believed to eat mostly sea vegetables/algae like kelp, wakame, sea grapes, Irish moss, and others. They may also occasionally eat sea animals like clams, oysters, crustaceans like lobsters, shrimp and crabs, as well as small fish

Some myths suggest that mermaids are vegetarian/vegan, while others suggest that they may occasionally eat small fish. Seaweed, a major element of their diet, has many health benefits that could help humans adopt the mermaid lifestyle and gain similar health benefits.

YouTube video
Haitian Mermaid Story

Conclusion for Mermaids Haiti

The Haitian Mermaid Lasiren is deeply woven into Haitian culture and plays an important role in the Haitian Vodou religion. Lasiren is the queen of the ocean and the maritime version of the spirits of love and beauty.

She is worshiped mainly in the form of a mermaid and is known to abduct women, who either drown or come back with new powers. Lasiren also has strong ties to African water goddesses and it is interesting to note that Christopher Columbus said he saw three mermaids off the coast of Haiti when he sailed to America in 1493.

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Marcel Kuhn