The Mystery Behind Mermaids in Haiti

Mermaids in Haiti have a long history and are still relevant in Voodoo religion to this day. Over preceding centuries, some Haitians claim to have seen mermaids in different parts of the island.

People began discussing the rumors they had heard about mermaids in Haiti on Twitter recently. The conversation became heated, and numerous fascinating and frightening anecdotes came to light.

The majority of tales revolve around sightings of Haitian mermaids in the sea. Or about how a mermaid abducted someone.

One person recounted a story about a mermaid who kidnapped a woman. What’s the deal with all of these stories about Haitian mermaids bringing people under the sea?

haitian mermaids

Who is this Haitian Mermaid?

It’s a mermaid called Lasiren. She’s one of the most famous and recognizable figures in Haitian history. Here’s what you need to know about her and a slew of other interesting information.

1. This Haitian mermaid is a queen of the ocean

The existence of mermaids in Haiti are connected to a particular female Haitian water spirit known as Lasiren. In Haitian folklore, Lasiren is the queen of the sea and the maritime counterpart of love and beauty spirits

The mermaid queen, who is said to dwell in a beautiful underwater castle but may also be seen on the surface. She comes to the surface frequently where she might be observed by humans. She is revered as a mermaid. When a mermaid appears in Haiti, it is often assumed to be Lasiren.

It’s not certain whether there are many different mermaids or if it’s simply the same one that people see. Some say that there are in fact several mermaids in the seas surrounding Haiti. By depicting various mermaids, some artwork suggests that there are more than one.

2. She’s an Important Figure in the Haitian Voodoo Religion

You notice right away that Lasiren is a key figure in Haitian Voodoo culture when you look into her. To begin with, it should be stated that Voodoo is not what you see in Hollywood horror films. These are unhealthy representations of the actual religion of Voodoo, which incorporates various spiritual systems.

In Voodoo there is a single supreme god, similar to the Catholic God, called Bondye, which means “the good god”.

Voodooists likewise believe in spirits known as Lwa (or Loa). These are involved in everyday activities and, as a result, are more visible in people’s lives. The Rada, Petro, and Ghede families of Lwa exist. Lesiren is a Lwa. She’s one of the most well-known mermaids in Haiti and an essential Lwa.

3. She is the Ebodiment of the Divine Feminine

Lasiren is a goddess in Haitian mythology who symbolizes the three sides of women’s nature: mother, lover, and goddess. Danto and Freda are Lasiren’s two sisters, as well as the three aspects of femininity.

The calming and powerful mother was symbolized by Danto. The lover is what Freda stands for: a sexy, emotional, and temperamental woman. As the ocean queen, Lasiren represents both the mystical and spiritual element of a woman.

mermaids in haiti

4. Haitian mermaids abduct women

The Greek sirens, in particular, seem to enjoy attracting males. Lasiren on the other hand is often portrayed as an abductor of women.

If a woman is dragged into the water by Lasiren, there are two possible outcomes. She drowns or she returns with new abilities, such as the gifts to heal and see into the future.

Another probable cause for Lasiren’s distinct interest in ladies may be her function as the goddess of femininity. She has a much greater connection to women through their spiritual aspects, which might explain why she is more interested in them.

5. Lasiren has many looks

The lovely mermaid of Haiti is known as Lasiren. However, there is no clear description of what she appears like other than that she has long black hair.

She is most often depicted as a mermaid with a fishtail. She is also just depicted as a beautiful woman. This picture is frequently seen on shrines and has to do with Lasiren’s worship.

She isn’t a mermaid, but she does resemble one. By the way, aquatic creature depictions do not necessarily indicate that she is not a mermaid. There may be a fishtail beneath her long flowing dress! She’s an aquatic spirit with considerable abilities, after all.

The Haitian flags are one of Lasiren’s favorite arts. The Haitian flags, which are often used in Lasiren rituals, are one such art form. They are handcrafted and have a lot of small stones.

6. Mermaids in Haiti Have Strong Ties to African Water Goddesses

Lasiren accompanied the African peoples who were brought to Haiti against their will slave traders. She is frequently referred to as Mami Wata or Yemaja, the Haitian variant of the African water spirits.

It is difficult to define whether they are beings or spirits, but their origins and roles in society are similar to those of Lasiren. They’re venerated as gods in parts of Africa and North America. In Africa, on the other hand, they have a stronger link with snakes. Lasiren stands out because she combines both African and European elements.

7. Christopher Columbus saw Haitian Mermaids

Christopher Columbus claimed he saw three mermaids while sailing to America in 1493, which is interesting given that the term “mermaid” was not used until almost 400 years later.

Could this be proof that mermaids have inhabited Haiti all along? There is one issue. According to Columbus, the mermaids appeared like unappealing bearded men! That doesn’t seem like the lovely Lasiren at all.

The claim that Columbus observed mermaids is disputed. Instead, it is thought that he saw manatees rather than mermaids.

8. She accepts gifts in exchange for her services

The Voodoo religion’s followers, for example, give the Lwas food and specific items in order to gain their favor.

Mirrors, combs, jewelry, flowers, wine, doves, and perfume are all common Lasiren gifts. You’ll see all of these in the movies as well as many pieces of Lasiren artwork. However, these will rarely show what mermaids eat.

In exchange for the presents, Lasiren is reputed to assist her followers in a variety of ways. She has the ability to assist you in achieving financial success, good health, good fortune, and love. Some people even claim that Lasiren’s spirit enters the bodies of women, bringing them luck and love.

mermaid fancy dress

9. Lasiren’s Name Means “The Mermaid”

The term Lasiren was formed from the French word “la sirène,” which means “the mermaid” or “the siren.” Other spellings for Lasiren include Lasirn, Lasirènn and La Sirène.

Because of the impact of the French who conquered Haiti during the 17th century, French is one of the two official languages of Haiti. As a result, when African people were taken there against their will, they converted her name from to Loa Afrodisia (the Great Goddess) in French.

Today, less than 5% of Haitians are fluent in French. However, most of them speak Haitian Creole, which was formed by a combination of African languages, the native Tanoi language, and French.

The French name for the siren, “la sirène”, is sometimes mistaken for “the siren”. In English, however, it translates more accurately as “the mermaid.”

In romance languages like French, there is only one word for both mermaids and sirens (“la sirène”) because the distinction between sirens and mermaids became blurred during the centuries.

10. Lasiren’s Mirror has Special Meaning

Lasiren is another name for the sirens in ancient Greece, who appeared on rocky cliffs with a comb and a mirror. These were vanity items that were associated with her beauty. She is considered the Lwa of vanity because she is noted for caring about her appearance.

The mirror has two meanings, though. It can demonstrate a kind of portal between the conscious and unconscious realms, allowing you to view yourself more clearly. It also reminds me of something else. As a result, she also displays self-love and spiritual awareness.

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