Like Sedna, or Sanna; the drowned goddess, Inuit mermaids were once humans. They were women from all ages who drowned by falling under the ice or being washed away by a powerful wave. Sedna welcomed thoses women she saw as sisters and granted them the gift of breathing underwater and an orca tail to show that they belonged to the underwater world. She painted their hands with black lines with her hair which symbolizes her own fingers and hands which were cut by her father and from which all the fish sprang out. Inuit mermaids are benevolent spirits guiding fishermen in winter, leading the fish where they will be needed and calming Sedna when she is angry because of her hair entangled by the currents..
The legend of this sea goddess, though known in various regions by different names, is one of the most widespread Inuit myths. Although there are many variations of Sedna’s story they all end in much the same way: with her father pushing her into the raging sea as she clings desperately to the edge of his boat. As the girl struggles to save herself, he draws his knife and cuts through three of her fingers. The severed fingers drift off on the waves and become the seals, walruses, and whales of the sea. Sedna herself sinks to the sea floor, where she dwells to this day as the powerful Inuit goddess of the sea and marine life, the Mother of the Deep.
I don't know if you've done it before but do you happen to know any myths about asexuals ?
Wow, it’s such an interesting question!
The thing is, myths have usually a simple narration. They don’t delve into the psychological details. There are a lot of myths with celibate heroes. Are they asexual? I can’t remember seeing a character when we can be sure. But it’s very easy to see.
So, I will try and tell a few myth characters who are celibate and could very well be asexual.
In Greek Myth:
Hestia, goddess of the hearth, is very much celibate. No romance is known for her, no sexual encounter (which is quite rare for Greek Gods). She’s known for being the sister of some of the most important gods, and for her cult
There are two other Greek goddesses known for refusing men’s company and being eternally virgins: Artemis and Athena. Of course, the concept of “virginity” being what it is, some people would argue they were actually lesbians.
For Athena, she could have been in love with Pallas, a young nymph she accidentally killed. But friendship, or romantic asexual love works too.
Artemis is well-known for having a lot of nymph friends and expecting total chastity from them. She also seems rather sex-repulsed. Here again, it doesn’t preclude romantic asexual lesbian relationship.
@lifeisyetfair noticed that Hippolytus, Theseus’s son, refused relationships with women and was devout to Artemis. So it’s not only a goddess thing. :-)
It gets more complicated with religions - and the associated myths - which value celibacy a lot. A lots of mythical saints are totally celibate, but when nothing is told about potential temptations, it doesn’t say whether they were actually asexual or just very devoted.
Here is an article (in French, I don’t know if you read French) about some saints who married but did not consummate their marriage (with the wife consenting, or even being very much in favor)
And of course there is Jesus. Not everyone will agree about it, but I mean, it’s a really plausible interpretation.
The Buddhism has similar positivity towards celibacy, and a lot of celibate heroes and divinities. One of my favorite is Kuan-Yin, goddess of compassion.
Another type of myth where I read asexuality and aromanticism very easily is the one of the girl who doesn’t want to marry. She’s expected to, but refuses, and it’s not a story about her changing her mind.
One of my favorites is the origin story of the Iuvet people (in French again, sorry). A girl is abandoned by her father because she refuses to marry. She’s expected to die, but she survives, thinking she’s a bad girl. She travels, and manages to create humans, and a village without ever bearing children, only with magic. At the end, she takes revenge on her father, and the story insists that what she created was actually good.
Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea, was a human woman once, and one of these girl who didn’t want to marry. In some stories, she’s seduced by a spirit, but in most of them, it’s a forced marriage by her father. Anyway, she escapes him, but as he tries to stop her she falls into the cold ocean, and her father cuts her hands. She becomes a lone and powerful goddess. (Some legends give her a girlfriend, but I think they’re modern ones)
In some versions of the myth, Mulan is one of those girls and actually refuses the emperor’s son (and not for another man).
But I hope I’m wrong. Does someone know myths that more explicitly express asexuality?
Pinga (The One Who Is Up On High) is the Inuit goddess of healing, fertility and the hunt making her protector of animals. She is also the guardian of souls as she watches over the souls who are journeying to Adlivun the underworld.
With permission from lettherebedoodles I decided to take their amazing Racebent Disney Princess Seriesand, rather than just seeing them as different versions of the original characters, give them stories and fairy tales of their own. I plan on doing her entire series- hopefully I won’t disappoint!
Some of the stories will be based on the culture the new heroine is based on, and others will be stories from other cultures (such as ‘traditional’ western fairy tales), even real life people will inspire these Disney-style Princesses and Heroines. But please remember- this is all for fun. I’m not pretending to be an expert on any of this. I’ll try my best to do right by these characters and cultures, and if there is something horribly offensive, please let me know how I can fix it.
Lupita is the oldest child in her family, with two younger siblings, fraternal twins Felipe and Josefina. Lupita loves to paint, but after the death of her mother almost a year ago, she’s been very depressed. All she’s had time for is hard work and chores and keeping the household running. Her art has suffered, and she’s frustrated with life, and that the twins seem to only goof off and get into trouble.
One night, just before Dia de los Muertos is about to start, Lupita loses her cool and tells the twins to do something, anything, to help out around the house. Laughing, they run off into the darkness, Lupita chasing angrily after- only to watch them be snatched up by La Llorona.
As Dia de los Muertos begins, Lupita receives a visit from her mother, who tells her that she must save the twins before Dia de los Muertos ends and the spirits of the dead return to the afterlife. So Lupita sets out to find La Llorona, and in the process, find joy and laughter in her own life again.
Yara - Flow
Yara has always loved the river, just like the sirens she was named for when she was found orphaned as a baby. And her home, a floating village on the Amazon River, gave her plenty of reasons to be near the water. Even though the river could be dangerous, Yara was never afraid.
So when a group of wealthy explorers come, wanting to map the river and document wildlife, she happily agrees to be their guide. But these men are not what they seem, and when they commit an unthinkable crime- killing a river dolphin- the river begins to flood like never before. The villagers then tell her the truth about her origins. Yara isn’t just her name, she is truly an Iara, a mermaid of the Amazon. With help from a charming and handsome shape-shifter, Boto, she sets out to find a way to stop the flood from destroying her home.
Sedna and Qailertetang - The Legend of Us
Sedna is considered the most beautiful woman in the world. Qailertetang is her best friend… and thinks she may be falling in love with Sedna. But Qailertetang is too afraid to say anything, and then a strange man shows up at their village. He reveals himself to be a powerful spirit, who can take the form of a massive Petrel and control the weather. The Petrel spirit demands that Sedna marry him, and when she refuses, he kidnaps her and takes her to a distant sea cliff.
Heartbroken and desperate to save her friend, Qailertetang, sets off in a kayak to save her. Along the way, she saves a two-spirit shaman, and they tell her that even though love is confusing, she should tell Sedna how she feels. Meanwhile Sedna, trapped on a sea cliff, plots a way to escape on her own. Together, they find a way to defeat the Petrel spirit.
Together, they change in a way they would have never thought possible.
Author’s Note: Loosely based on what I’ve been able to find about the Inuit goddesses/spirits of Sedna and Qailertetang. I don’t think I’ve made any horrible errors here, and I wish I knew more about Inuit naming conventions to come up with a diminutive version of Qailertetang because that is a mouthful. But for the sake of not accidentally shortening it to something offensive, I left it as is.
P.S. Friendly reminder if you have any, LITERALLY ANY, resources on African (specifically Luo/West Niletic/East African- think the Jasmine edit) stories, folktales, even modern fiction, please let me know. I’m having a lot of trouble with it.
known as the Mother/Mistress of the Sea, Sedna’s tale is one of creation describing how she came to rule of Adlivun (Inuit Underworld). In one version she is the child of Anguta (the creator-god) with a hunger that causes her to attack her parents, resulting in her father taking her to sea and casting her overboard. She clings to the side but Anguta cuts off her fingers and she sinks to the underworld, ruler of the monster of the deep. Her severed fingers become seals, walruses and whales.
A character dump from my senior project about Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the oceans. The kokogiak isn’t included in the original legend, but I thought he could be a neat boss or npc to encounter in-game.