The Passamaquoddy tell the story of He Nwas, the mermaid. It’s about two girls who defy their mother by swimming where they weren’t supposed to. The girls turn into mermaids and instead of playing on the shore, they tow their parent’s canoe for them.
“They were all slimy; they grew to be snakes from below the waist. After sinking a few times in this strange slime they became very handsome, with long black hair and large, bright black eyes, with silver bands on their neck and arms,” fromThe Algonquin Legends of New England, by Charles G. Leland.