Y is for Yemaya (African Pantheon) #AtoZChallenge

Yemaya is the goddess of the seas and motherhood in Yoruban mythology.  Yoruban culture is found in West Africa, particularly southwestern Nigeria and western Benin.

Island of Salvation Botanica, Piety Street, Bywater neighborhood, New Orleans Category:Folk art Category:New Orleans Category:Voodoo

Of interest for this theme, Yemaya was worshipped predominantly by women because she both grants fertility and protects women during childbirth.  She is known as the mother of fish and in fact her full name means mother whose children are fish.

She has a global reach as she was brought to Brazil, Haiti, the U.S. among others from Africa. Since our knowledge of Yemaya has been passed through oral traditions, many variants of her name and capabilities have emerged.

Like most of the sea goddesses I’ve covered here, she has mood swings, with the potential for the calm of the ocean at peace and the anger and destructive potential of an ocean storm.


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