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Jeffrey Briggs, Nereid

The Mythology of Animals

26.5¨ x 14.75¨ x 1.25¨

The dolphin is considered the kindly sea servant from antiquity, the rescuer of drowning people, talisman against fires, an emblem of success in the arts, a messenger of good fortune, and a mascot of safe travel. These are just a few of the qualities that have been attributed to the dolphin by humans over time. Why? Reports of dolphins of different species aiding or rescuing humans appear often in history. For example, dolphins often drive away sharks that have injured human, and then buoy the injured person on the surface of the water while gently nudging them toward shore. Research has found that dolphins talk back and forth to each other for hours on end. It is possible that dolphins have a "mental" consciousness that is unknown to us. Their mental abilities, their social fabric, and the fact that they are a predator mammal like us make them what some call the "humans of the sea". People's fascination with and connection to dolphins have mythologized them in almost every human society. People of antiquity expressed a connection to dolphins, and incorporated it into spiritual beliefs. I find it perplexing that in the face of our advanced scientific knowledge of dolphins we continue to mythologize them even today.

The Nereid is from Greek mythology. She is a beneficial sea nymph, daughter of the sea god Poseidon. She completes the mystical theme of the work for me.