Subject: Info: Human/Marine mammal transformations

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Mon, 16 Nov 1994 12:28:49

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Subject: Info: Human/Marine mammal transformations
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Subj:	Re: human/marine mammal transformations (fwd)
Date:         Tue, 15 Nov 1994 11:13:09 -0600
Reply-To:     Marine Mammals Research and Conservation Discussion
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From:         "Susan E. Rodenkirchen" <>
Subject:      Re: human/marine mammal transformations (fwd)
To:           Multiple recipients of list MARMAM <MARMAM@UVVM.BITNET>
>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Fri, 4 Nov 1994 12:03:31 GMT
>To: Multiple recipients of list ARCH-L <ARCH-L@TAMVM1.TAMU.EDU>
>Subject: human/marine mammal transformations
>Does anyone know of folk-tales or legends regarding the
>transformation of humans into marine mammals or vice-versa? I am
>aware of the various Scottish stories regarding selchies, where seals
>are taken to represent the souls of the dead or the damned. I am also
>vaguely aware of Amazon river dolphins transforming into people at
>night - into males I think. Gender is important here, where sex is
>noted is it males or females involved. I would be very grateful for
>any information on this matter. Thankyou.
>Tony Pollard
>Dept of archaeology,
>University of Glasgow
>I was reading an article on river dolphins which included the following
Of dolphins, men and myths:
"Dolphins, particularly pink dolphins (Inia geoffrensis), have long been
important in the mythology of Amazonian peoples.  According to one legend,
during the festivities that are part of a girl's coming of age, dolphins
would transform themselves- taking on human shapes and leaving the river.
Since they could still be rocognized, they'd wear large black hats to help
disguise their blowholes and prominent foreheads.  Entering the house where
the party was being held (being careful not to drink alcohol because they
would immediately be turned back into dolphins and die outside of the
water), the dolphin-men would seize the girl and carry her away forever to
their underwater cities."
The article can be found in the periodical, AMERICAS, (the E is accented).
It is titled, "A Fresh Look at River Dolphins.  The author is Omar Vidal.
It can be found on pages 43-47.
Susie Rodenkirchen