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Aquatic Beings: Virtual Special Issue 10, 2019

Virtual Special Issues of Folklore

Listen to Folklore‘s Virtual Special Issue 2019 podcast on Aquatic Beings, and check out the featured articles related to the podcast below. These articles are free to access by members of The Folklore Society. Articles chosen by the Editor, Jessica Hemming, and podcast written and read by Juliette Wood.

Excerpt from the podcast:
‘Traditions about the aquatic realm and the creatures that live in it have always been a popular topic in the pages of Folklore. Arthur Waugh, a former president of the Society, was one of many interested in this subject. His presidential address of 1960 and a companion article in 1961 survey beliefs associated with a range of creatures both real, like whales and dolphins, and fantastic such as merfolk (Waugh 1960, 1961). Waugh’s examples of mermaid folklore highlight familiar attributes, including their enticing voices and the dangers they pose, especially to the Christian world, and he also presented significant material about mermen with human wives. His surveys still stand as useful introductions, but they also reveal changing attitudes. Waugh repeats many ‘friendly’ dolphin tales from classical and modern sources, but he also cites negative accounts of the blood-thirsty orca from Pliny and Aelian. He includes traditions about benevolent whales from Polynesia and North America, but the orca’s reputation as a killer was still intact when he wrote his article, while today it and other whales are more closely linked to environmental concerns.’

Listen to the Aquatic Beings podcast, by Dr Juliette Wood.

Featured Articles in Folklore

The Folklore of the Merfolk  Arthur Waugh vol. 71/2,  1960

The Seal in the Folklore of Northern Europe  by Martin Puhvel, vol. 74/1,  1963

On Mermaids, Meroveus, and Mélusine: Reading the Irish Seal Woman and Mélusine as Origin Legend  by Gregory Darwin, vol. 126/2,  2015

The Fairy Bride Legend in Wales  by Juliette Wood, vol. 103/1,  1992

Anchors in a Three-Decker World  by Miceal Ross, vol. 109/1-2,  1998

Cloud Ships over Cornwall  by B.C. Spooner, vol. 72/1,  1961

Further Reading

Buggane ny Hushtey, the Buggane-of-the-Water : A Manx Folktale. Sophia Morrison, vol. 34/4, 1923

The Origin of the Sea Bishop by W.M.S. Russell and F. S. Russell, vol. 86/2, 1975

The Scotch Fisher Child by Walter Gregor, vol. 2/1, 1891

The Folklore of the Whale by Arthur Waugh, vol. 72/2, 1961