Monday, February 22, 2010

Day LXXXIV - Mami Wata

Beautiful spirit,
Much-worshipped water woman,
African mermaid.

Venerated water spirits across a range of African diaspora cultures, Mami Wata is a feminine supreme mermaid figure revered around the globe. Sometimes a pantheon of deities and sometimes a sole entity with a different name depending on region and tradition, the overall understanding is that the creature is an auspicious being of great spiritual power associated with water, healing and love. Often represented as a beautiful, long-haired woman with the tail of a fish and naked human torso, Mami Wata's body is also adorned by a great serpent and jewels (she's also linked to wealth and good fortune). She's a captivating creature, whether she's understood along usual mermaid lines (dangerous seductive sexual creatures capturing young men in the spirit realm until they promise to be faithful and avoid eating fish) or as sacred nature deities of prosperity, voodoo ritual and priestess devotion. Drawing upon ancient maternal traditions and enchanting people across Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, Mami Wata deserves our awe and appreciation. Much love to the great mermaid.

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