Tag Archives: underwater creatures

Thursday Myths & Legends 101: La Pincoya

La Pincoya is a water sprite, said to guard the seas surrounding the southern island of Chiloé in Chile.  She is a personification of the fertility of the ocean, and is said to perform a ritual dance on the beach—if she performs this dance facing the ocean, the sea (and the fishermen who work it) will have an abundance of fish, but if she dances facing towards land, or away from the ocean, then the fish will be scarce.  She is said to be a very generous creature, though.

She is the daughter of Millalobo, king of the Chilotan sea, and along with her sister, La Sirena Chilota (a mermaid tasked with caring for all the fish) and her brother (and husband) El Pincoy, she helped to carry dead sailors onto La Caleuche, a phantom ship where the deceased were able to carry on as if they were still alive.  This ship is said to be glimpsed at times, with sounds of a party drifting from it, but it always vanishes from sight.

Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Mermaids – The next big thing in YA?

I’ve heard rumors that mermaids and various other sea creatures are possibly going to be the next big thing in YA fantasy.  Whether this is true or not no one can really say, because the market is only as predictable as human fickleness allows it to be, but in either case it had me considering whether it was a topic I’m interested in or not.  To be honest… I’m not so sure.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be a mermaid as much as any other girl at one point in my life, and there’s still that little part of me that would love an existence under the sea chasing butterfly fish and playing with dolphins, etc.  I’m just not so sure I want to read about it.

There are definite mermaid story classics that I love, of course, with Disney’s The Little Mermaid and Splash being at the very top of that list—but outside of those few stories that I fell in love with as a young child, I’ve yet to find a mermaid story that really captured my attention and held it.  One series I tried to read had obviously spent a lot of time building their underwater world and the rules and regulations of society… but the characters were two-dimensional at best.  I’ve enjoyed reading the Emily Windsnap books by Liz Kessler, but they’re middle-grade and the writing makes you feel it.

I guess I’m just wondering if this kind of story can be done in a way that I not only believe, but fall in love with.  If it can, though… I’m all for it.  Because really, I’d like to want to be a mermaid again.  I’d like someone to be able to write a story that convinces me that wanting to be a mermaid is okay.  Don’t you?

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