The Latin word siren derived in siren , a term that refers to a mythological figure which, in the beginning, named a creature with the body of a bird and the torso of a woman . Over time, however, the mermaid idea began to associate with a creature half fish - half woman .
Despite being a creature which belongs to folklore, has transcended all barriers, from cultural to temporary, since it appears in stories from around the world, even today. The ancient Egyptians used the image of the mermaid that combined the appearance of a bird with that of a woman to symbolize the mood strength known as ba .
Ba is a masculine term that represents the animated force that remains of each human being after his death, something that can also be interpreted as his spiritual personality or his soul. This concept belongs to the mythology Egyptian and, as expressed in the previous paragraph, it is symbolized with the image of a mermaid with the body of a bird and the head of a woman.
The role of the ba was very important for the Egyptian culture, because thanks to its mobility it could maintain a link between the Earth and the world of the gods. He was a mediator between both planes, who also assisted the deceased in his trip to meet his ka, the vital force of the human spirit that remained in the grave.
Thanks to the wings that gave him the appearance of a mermaid, the ba had the possibility of constantly moving between a world and other; in fact, he did it daily, since every night he returned from the celestial kingdom and lodged in the body of the deceased. The body contained the ka, and both components needed each other, which is why if someone removed the remains the ba also disappeared.
Over time, the Church played a fundamental role in the new conception of the mermaid, which replaced the bird part with the fish part. This happened in the ninth century, and then the siren began to represent voluptuousness, and its song was the symbol of what the Church considered "false doctrines." Although in our language we use the same term for both versions of the siren, there are some in which each has its own word.
The sirens are nymphs : female deities of lesser rank that are usually linked to a specific natural site. In the case of mermaids, mythology tells that they are in the ocean and seduce sailors thanks to their singing . The siren's voice, in fact, has the ability to bewitch the mens .
Along the history , the sirens were represented in different ways. It is common to find mermaid figures with bare breasts or covered by hair. Usually, the female part of the mermaids is represented with great beauty and harmonious lines.
Numerous literary and traditional stories have mermaids as protagonists. One of his most famous appearances is in the Odyssey , he poem that is attributed to Homer . In this story, Ulises He decides to cover his sailors 'ears so that, as they cross the sea, they will not be bewitched by the sirens' song. For his part, he is tied to the mast of the boat to listen to the sirens without jumping into the water.
"The little Mermaid" , meanwhile, is a famous story from Hans Christian Andersen which was adapted to the cinema with great success by Walt Disney Pictures in 1989 .