Mermaid of Salado.

Sirena the Crying Indian Mermaid

Field review by the editors.

Salado, Texas

The town of Salado is overrun with antique stores, art galleries, and pottery shops. In the creek is a small bronze mermaid, sitting in the water, with no plaque to explain why it's here. The mermaid, "Sirena," was made by local artist Troy Kelly in 1986 and represents "the legendary Indian maiden who was transformed into a mermaid by a magical fish." But Salado Creek is barely deep enough to shelter a minnow, never mind a magical fish or a mermaid. And why would the local Indians -- the Tonkawas, who reportedly were cannibals -- have a mermaid legend when they lived over a hundred miles from the nearest deep body of water?

This mermaid statue should not to be confused with the other mermaid statue in Texas, out west in San Angelo.

Tipster Leslie Dubiel Stradley provides this story: "She is an Indian maiden who despaired of winning the love of a certain brave. A magic catfish in the creek promised to help her win her man if she would agree to spend one night a month in the creek as the fish's mate. She agreed, time went on, till one night when (in her mermaid guise) she was caught on a fisherman's hook. As she was trying to remove the hook from her tail her human husband saw her and was angry, rejecting her and leaving her with a broken heart."

In 2016, the mermaid was moved to a new permanent spot above the creek flood level.

Sirena the Crying Indian Mermaid

Address:
380 S. Main St., Salado, TX
Directions:
Just south of the bridge across Salado Creek, on the southbound side of S. Main St.
Admission:
Free
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July 13, 2020

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