Mami wata, Rivah Muma and the veneration of the spirit of life

Mami Wata” means mother water or mother of water,  for those unfamiliar with the legend. She is an ancient African deity. Part of a pantheon of mermaids and is presented as an anamorphic water entity, with a woman’s upper body and the hindquarters of a fish or snake.

Myths of the mermaid is popular all around the world, but the African water spirit Mami Wata remained respected and celebrated from the time before the African nations came in contact with Europe, through the ages, and even up to today where she is venerated in West, Central, Southern Africa and the diaspora in Americas.

The Ohemma Nsuo is the correct name for the Mami Wata “group of mermaids”, who actually do not wish to be called Mami Wata. Ohemma Nsuo is regarded as an immortal spirit that personifies polar opposites, of beauty and danger, natural force and healing, wealth and destruction, health and disease, and inability to follow ideas of good and evil. As a mermaid deity, she is incredibly powerful, dangerous, pleasant, sexual and able to destroy anything on her path.

Yemaya or Yemoja, is one of the chief mermaids in the Ohemma Nsuo pantheon and is considered the mother of all life on Earth.  All life came from the water and requires water to live. Yemaya appears to human eyes also as a mermaid, and this is how she is usually represented.  This hearkens to her perceived form from the Ohemma Nsuo.

Yemayá lives and rules over the seas and lakes. She also rules over maternity in our lives as she is the Mother of All. Her name, a shortened version of Yeyé Omo Eja means “Mother Whose Children are the Fish” to reflect the fact that her children are uncountable. All life on the planet is said to have started in the sea, the amniotic fluid inside the mother’s womb is a form of sea, where the embryo must transform and evolve through the form of a fish before becoming a human baby. In this way Yemayá displays herself as truly the mother of all. She partakes of Olokun’s abundance as the source of all riches which she freely gives to her little sister Oshún. She dresses herself in seven skirts of blue and white and like the seas and profound lakes she is deep and unknowable. In her path of Okutti she is the queen of all magic women, carrying within her deep and dark secrets. Her number is seven for the seven seas, her colors are blue and white, and she is most often represented by the fish who are her children.

According to Jamaican folklore, the Rivah Muma or River Maid as she is also known, is the Jamaican legend of Ohemma Nsuo..  and Yeyé Omo Eja.

Water in Jamaican folklore is believed to be inhabited by powerful spirits, who are usually female since water is a female element.

Rivah Muma:

… is believed to inhabit every fountainhead of an inexhaustible and considerable stream of water in Jamaica. For this reason the sources of such streams were worshipped and sacrifices [and rituals] offered to the “Rubba Missis.

“These sacrifices and rituals were meant to appease these water spirits so that they may bring rain during times of drought and provide many fish in their catch.”

“… slaves on water-works used to persuade their overseers or masters to sacrifice an ox at the fountain-head of the water turning the mill in times of much drought, in order to propitiate the mistress of the river, that she may cause rain and give an adequate supply of water to turn the mill.”


Water represents life. It represents energy. “Mama…there is that word again”. All things as we know it is energy. H2O is energy. Oxygen is energy. Sound is energy. Colors, ocular vision is energy. Thought is energy. Energy condensed is hard matter that can be touched, picked up and sat on. WE are energy condensed. WE are the dark matter that the kimityu creator deity, Ptah in conjunction with khnem or khnm …meaning “to build”….took from the primordial soup (the chaos of energy) in order to fashion and sculpt the first man on a potter’s wheel.

Keep in mind that Afrikan ourstory all have the same basic theme running through them. The only differences are the names which are usually regional or linguistic.  There seem to be a trend with certain groups and individuals who now carry the slave behaving attitude that ancestral veneration and the veneration of the Orishas and Afrikan deities, is a negative thing. Many practice in secret because their intentions are impure. But also many practice in secret because they are attacked as practicing witch craft, voodoo or Obeah.

The Afrikan cultural practices of ancestral veneration and the practice of vudon and Obeah were practiced in secret or risk murderous retribution by the cave savages who held our ancestors as penned animals.

Those enslaved Afrikans who accepted their subhuman status saw the practitioners as trouble makers and would rat them out to the slavers. Some would do so to eliminate a rival.

Many of these same people today who act like IFA or ancestral veneration is barbaric, have no hesitation singing the praise of Arabism, Christianinsanity, Zionism disguised as jewishism or any other non Afrikan spiritual system. Despite protestation to contrary, many hate Afrika, hate anything to do with Afrika thus, hate their Afrikan self.

This is the legacy of the Ma’afa

The same skewed world view goes for the continental Afrikans who hate each other AND their estranged family members in the west. These same ones pretend to be keepers of the traditions, but would malice their family in the diaspora who try to keep the tradition going, all the while teaching the european inner secrets and tradition for fiat currency, a bucket of chicken or sexual gratification.

While we have some practitioners selling our birthright to foreigners while simultaneously denying their own blood the knowledge, we have some who use the secrets for nefarious ends or simplistic or ego driven ends, such as entrapping a love interest or putting spells on people. Both groups are responsible for the ignorance and fear of good intended practitioners and of the science itself.

We must overstand that the European uses our own science to keep us down and make himself appear elevated. And he easily incorporates malicious traitors from among us to do so. All the while selling us stories of a male pantheon of deities without a female deity in a homosexual, patriarchal worship of violence and destruction.

I urge many who are curious about IFA to delve into it, but do so with purity of heart and an open mind. You will find it is a serious balm and a practical guide in a world of confusion. Be careful though about who you turn to for guidance, recognize that many are false practitioners and doers of evil. Avoid them and their elaborate schemes that appeal to your ego.

This is not an ego driven experience but one of purity and openness. Lets start a movement back to our tradition of the mother-father principle and of Afrikan cultural relevance.