Monday, April 8, 2013

The Ceasg and the Baobhan Sith

Do Mermaids Have Fangs?

By Dawn Marie Hamilton

Did you see the movie Pirates of the Caribbean, On Stranger Tides? Ever since I did, I’ve wondered whether there existed a basis for mermaids with fangs. Do any of the mermaid legends mention fangs? What about Scottish folklore? Could a mermaid with fangs be drawn from the merging of two mythical Scottish fae creatures?

Perhaps the first is the ceasg or maighdean na tuinne (maiden of the wave), a Scottish mermaid of the Highlands. Appearing as a half-human woman and half-grilse (salmon), the ceasg were said to lure young men into the sea's depths. Other accounts describe love affairs between the mermaids and human males with the offspring of these relationships becoming great sailors and sea captains. Some tales attribute the mermaids with the ability to grant three wishes if captured. Of course, to force such action, the mermaid's soul must be destroyed.

The second, the baobhan sith, is a vampiric faerie known to be dangerous and evil. Although sometimes taking the form of a crow or raven, the baohan sith more often appears as a beautiful young woman, wearing a long green gown to hide her hoofed-feet. On a single evening each year, she rises from her grave to seduce a young man into dancing with her until he is tired and weak from the drinking of his blood.

At first, I believed the combining of these two creatures would produce a mermaid with fangs. Then I read an account stating the baobhan sith use long fingernails to draw the blood of their victims.

So what do you think? Do mermaids have fangs?



Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I would like to think not - no fangs for my mermaids. I have been drawn into a world of vampires lately, but mermaids? Naw, I don't think so.

Fun post, Dawn

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

LOL, Paisley. Mermaids with fangs give me the willies too. :)

Suzan Tisdale said...

I agree, mermaids with fangs are a bit...creepy? lol

I like your theory on how they could possibly come about. ;o)

Suzan Tisdale

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Suzan. It's enough to make me want to stay out of the water. :)

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Scary - I would like to think of mermaids and gentle souls who save sailors' lives. :)

Margaret said...

Susan, I'm with Paisley. I like gentle helpful mermaids.