Religious motifs : Overview. Search. About religious motifs

See also Gods, spirits and demons


Sea, sirens

Description of this motif: People of the sea, mermaids and mermen, are demons of the sea, who attract humans with singing and tones. Often the attracted become victims, but the people of the sea aren't necessarily evil. Mer-people are closely related to water-beings, as the man of the stream and the nix.

Example :

Then they talked about the sand dunes, and how they came to be here, and this was very interesting. The peasants found a corpse on the shore and buried it in the churchyard; then the sand began to fly about, and the sea broke in with violence. A wise man of the parish advised that the grave be opened, for if the stranger were found sucking his thumb, they could then be sure that he whom they had buried was a merman, and that the sea would not rest till it had fetched him back. So they opened the grave, and sure enough, the dead man lay with his thumb between his lips. He was quickly laid on a cart drawn by two oxen, and as though stung by hornets they rushed with him over heath and moor to the sea. That stopped the shower of flying sand, but the dunes that it formed are still there.

That was what Jörgen learned and carried away with him from the happiest days of his childhood – those four days at the funeral party.