Swimming Events Guide 2024
EXTRA,  FEATURES,  May 2023

Mami Wata and the Black Mermaids

Of course mermaids can be Black. Elaine K Howley delves into the mythologies behind Hans Christian Andersen’s enduring fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, exploring a rich aquatic spiritual culture of West African mer-creatures including Mami Wata and many other watery gods, goddesses and powerful swimming creatures. 

Hans Christian Andersen’s enduring fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, published in 1837, gave the Western world a template for the quintessential mermaid: a comely, pale-skinned half-woman, half-fish creature that lived beneath the waves but longed for an immortal soul. 

To see all the online content from the May 2023 issue of Outdoor Swimmer, visit the 'Spring(s)' page.
Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.