Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Marni Wata stands for a pantheon of water deities found primarily in the Vodun tradition practiced in Benin and Togo. However, manifestations and variations of Mami Wata, particularly as a female water deity, along with her devotees, are found in at least 20 African countries, the Caribbean, and North America. Among the Igbo, she is Ezenwaanyi (“Queen or Chief of Women”), Nnekwunwenyi (“Honorable Woman”), Ezebelamiri (“Queen who lives in the Waters”), Nwaanyi mara mma (“More than Beautiful Woman”), or Ubamiri , “which has mmiri , or water as its root.” In parts of former Zaire, she is Mamba Muntu , “Crocodile Person.” In the diaspora, she is known as Watramama in Suriname and Guyana; Mamadjo in Grenada; Yemanya/Yemaya in Brazil and Cuba; La Sirène, Erzulie, and Simbi in Haiti; and Lamanté in Martinique. This entry offers a description of the Mami Wata and looks at their impact. The name Mami ...