Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grateful, gracias, 16 year celebration !

Gracias a la vida * Grateful
La Sirena
27 East 3 Street (calle 3)
NYC, 10003 
Open 12-7 daily * Abierto de 12-7pm diariamente
Queridos amigos y familia de La Sirena,
In this month of November, La Sirena is celebrating 16 years of Mexican folk art and lots lots more !
I am grateful for all of you for helping keep La Sirena alive !
Grateful for Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and other angels that helped along the way !
Gracias a los artesanos por crear artesania tan bello, continuing the traditions handed down for generations!
Read the story, a shortcut to the past three years and, que paso !
 frida papel
  So yes, as never before, La Sirena is having a   
GOLD WEEK SALE  !! Through Dec. 1st, 2014 
20 % off entire shop ! 40% off 100's of items 
Saying mil gracias, thank you, see you soon !!
Please mention gold email to get discounts
and yes there is Mexican chili candy and calendars :-)  
Nos vemos, Dina Leor, y los sirenitos
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La Sirena | 27 east 3 street | NYC | NY | 10003

Thursday, November 13, 2014

La Sirena-More Than Just a Name...

This month marks the 16th year anniversary of La Sirena! In honor of this grand celebration, this week’s blog post is dedicated to our store’s name: La Sirena.
The Mermaid in Folk Art Ceramics @ La Sirena NYC
The word “sirena” is often translated in two ways: siren or mermaid. Although some would argue that the first is a perfectly acceptable form of translation, mermaid is actually a more accurate translation. Why? A siren most often refers to the mythical creature formed as a hybrid of a half-bird and half-human, female creature. They’re responsible for entrancing men at sea with their beautiful voices/songs (often driving their ship into rocks).  A mermaid, on the other hand, refers to a creature that is half-human and half-fish, often female (but could be male), she uses her beauty to allure men (similarly) to their death, though not always. Mermaids, unlike sirens, are not always perceived as negative mythological creatures. In Mexican folklore, mermaids possess a dual nature.

To illustrate what I mean, I will draw on one example of the use of the mermaid in Mexican folklore: Chalchiutlicue. Often represented as a mermaid, Chalchiutlicue is described not as half-human and half-fish, but as half-human and half-sea serpent. She is the goddess of water, rivers, seas, and storms (later also being attributed the goddess of baptism). The paradox in her character arises in that she embodies both life and death. She is the patroness of childbirth, but she is also credited with bringing a flood that “purified humanity,” killing many.

There are undeniable parallels in this particular instance of the mermaid in Mexican folklore and Christian thought—the association of female to the serpent and a flood that rid the world of evil. The mermaid is a fusion of indigenous and Spanish-European cultures. Christopher Columbus is said to have spotted mermaids (an already existing phenomenon in the European world) on his arrival to the New World (explained as a misconstruction of the manatee). This myth of the mermaid, from that point forward was enlarged and appropriated by New World cultures, popularizing these new “fusion” legends and myths with new imagery and symbols being used in folk art.

The mermaid nevertheless remains a popular icon, representing beauty, femininity, and the sea. Mermaids are part of the music, the art, the culture of Mexico. They are goddesses of the sea, not in the sense that they are religious deities or cultural gods but just in a simple, folkloric form—la diosa del mar. For Dina Leor, owner of La Sirena, the mermaid is a memory, of her time in Puerto Vallarta, and a symbol of her love for the ocean. When the name “La Sirena” popped up in her head, she described her reaction as, “THAT’S IT!”  And that really was it; 16 years later you can still find La Sirena, a little piece of Mexico, here in New York City.

So, don’t miss out, stop on by: open daily from noon-7pm!
***All images were taken at La Sirena and are objects currently on sale***

Photos and Text by Lizz Melendez for La Sirena

For more information on the subject check out the following:
La Sirena Encantadora: The Mermaid in Mexican Folk Art & Legend