Oh, such love of the merfolk around the world is captured in The Mermaid Atlas, Merfolk of the World
. The attention to detail and inclusion of so many representations is beautiful. Crossing the continents, Anna Claybourne and Miren Asiain Lora (illustrator) introduce us to the tales we hold about the magical merfolk who swim the seas of our collective conscious.
From a general description:
"While a typical mermaid is female, with flowing hair and a fish’s
tail, that’s far from the only type. There are plenty of male fishpeople, or mermen. There are also stories of twin-tailed merfolk,
fish-humans with webbed hands and feet, and mermaids who
are part-seal, part-octopus or part-dolphin. Some merpeople can
even assume human form for a while, step on to the land and walk
among us, undetected."
To a specific example:
In seas, rivers and lakes all around Africa, you could
come across the water spirit Mami Wata. She takes
the form of a glamorous woman with a fish’s tail,
a snake’s tail, or in the east, where she is called
Mamba Muntu, a crocodile’s tail. She also has a
pet snake, which wraps itself around her. Mami
Wata is not usually harmful, but she is sometimes
blamed for strong water currents, and children
are warned to stay away from deep water in case
she catches them. She adores pampering herself,
and you can keep her happy by leaving her luxurious
gifts: jewellery, make-up, perfume and food.
Here is book for all lovers of merfolk. Add this lovingly crafted, artful compendium to your collection.
Mermaid Atlas, Merfolk of the World
by Anna Claybourne
illustrated by Miren Asiain Lora
Laurence King Publsihing, 2020