My informant is a 23 year old student who is heavily interested in mythology and myths of other cultures.

“So there are these creatures called “Selkies” and selkies are a mythological creature, so you know like unicorns and griffins and stuff. Anyways, a selkie is essentially an Irish mermaid, except that they are not like fish. Like in water they turn into seals. And then they can come up onto land and appear as beautiful women. And I’m not sure if I, I think I might be mixing up this with classical mermaids where they kind of invite people to their death. I don’t think that’s right. I think a selkie is, they kind of, um, they lure sailors in and then they kind of, they drag the sailor underwater but they live with the sailor and give them eternal happiness, instead of the more morbid mermaid-type thing where they eat sailors. So yeah, selkies are like a, a benevolent, beautiful seal-mermaid instead of the evil version of mermaids that are more like sirens, you know in Greek mythology.”


In his own words, the informant explains why this mythology is important to him: “My knowledge of Irish folklore is important because although I’m not mainly ethnically Irish, I am partly. Ireland also has one of the most unique european mythologies due to their relative isolation.”

He learned this myth through research of his own volition.


My informant uses this mythology to connect himself to the culture he partly grew up in. His grandmother is completely Irish and tried to impart certain traditions and my informant and his relatives. He uses this folklore to further connect back to his ethnicity and he is heavily intrigued by mythologies of all kinds.