Mami Wata (or Mamy Wata, Mami Watta or Mama Wata) is an aquatic deity of the African voodoo cult which is widespread in West, Central and South Africa, in the African diaspora, the Caribbean, and parts of North and South America.
She is generally described as an extraordinary woman, and very powerful. She is described as a woman of great beauty, with black, curly or frizzy hair that she combs with a golden comb.
She has black skin, large, shiny eyes, her clothes are the latest fashions and her jewelry is blinding. These signs of wealth are a sign of the dangerous nature of Mami Wata.
Sometimes she is described as a half-woman, half-fish or half-woman, half-snake mermaid. She is widely regarded by many Africans as one of the most powerful deities in the world.
The Dogon creation myth tells the story of « Mami Wata » and traces its existence back over 4000 years. The name « Mami Wata » dates back to the earliest languages of many modern African societies today. The first root of its name would come from the Ethiopian and Egyptian Coptic societies.
In the Ethiopian Coptic language, the word “mama” is used to describe truth and wisdom and the term “uat-ur” means ocean.
The main role of “Mami Water” is to provide spiritual and material healing to its devotees, while protecting their emotional and mental health and growth. She is the protector of the bodies of water.
She would have capsized many slave ships which no longer reached their western destinations, especially during the period of the abolition of the slave trade.