The path of Mami Wata is both ancient and the path of the Avatar, the Sage, prophetess, prophet, mystic,  and the Yaya Tunde of Africa amongst others.  This sacred religion is as old as Africa herself, and is considered the legitimate religion of Mama-Isis by many of its adherents. It is an ancient tradition that transcends race, class and gender. All whom Mami calls or who needs their powerful force in their lives are welcome.

F rom the outset, it must be emphatically stated that the name Mami Wata is plural, meaning it refers to a pantheon of ancient water deities.  Mami Wata are not part of the Yoruba pantheon of Orishas (i.e., Yemoja, Oshun etc.,), nor are their initiation ceremonies or means by which they are identified the same. The priesthood of Mama Wata is overwhelmingly matriarchal, meaning that the Mami Watas are a part of the old African matriarchal, sacerdotal religious systems that once ruled and denominated Africa and many parts of the ancient world for thousands of


 Some even born to the Mami Wata where they are called to serve the community and the world at-large, i.e., ( perform healing, divinations, initiations etc.,).

They are further taught how to make offerings and prayers, and how to participate in community worship and ceremonies. Generally all who are initiated to Mami Wata at the priestess level, are known as “Mammisi”, "Mamaissii," “Mamisi” ( mah-mee-see) which loosely translate as “mother? or "Queen of the Waters," and whose ancient Mammisi temples were the first built in ancient Egypt.

Typically the "calling" by a Mami Wata deity appears to be universal in many respects for both men and women. Ones experience can range from mild a depression, to outright displays of what would be classified as spiritual psychosis.   A typical experience might involve the appearance of Mami in ones dreams. Normally, the dreams are recurring, will little variation in theme.

These dreams will usually intensify with time. Most often, the dreams might appear so vivid, and for some, so disturbing, that it forces one to seek out a diviner to ascertain who the person or image is. Beware of anthropological stereotypes and over generalizations of the myth that the person appearing on ones dreams is always a “mulatto” or “white” female, or even (rarer) an actual “mermaid”.  Mami might appear in any exterior, form or ethnicity.

If the dreams do not motivate one to seek out a diviner, Mami usually elevates the pressure by supernaturally interfering with ones personal life. All of a sudden, the "close intimate" relationship one thought they developed with a significant other, suddenly deteriorates overnight. Or the strong sexual/passionate urges towards the opposite sex suddenly diminishes.

There might be a sudden problem with sexual dysfunction such as impotency for men or lack of desire for women. One might also experience a sudden change in their financial status i.e., loss of job, bankruptcy, diminished funds due to divorce, etc.,.

If the above still does not trigger a concerned reaction to seek out the services of a diviner, then Mami might simply "up the ante", and exacerbate all of the above simultaneously, leaving  the person little choice but to seek the services of a Mamissii priestess.


The Mami Wata deities are known by its adherents as being the owners of all  forms of  divination, i.e., tarot, numerology, necromancy (talking with the dead), astrology, botanmancy (reading certain herbs), cartomancy (playing cards), catoptomancy (mirror gazing), Cheiromany (hand reading “palmistry”), cairaudience (hearing voices or noises), clarivoyance, crystallomancy (crystal ball gazing), dactyliomancy (pendulums), gyromancy (divination by spirit possession) ,hydromancy (water divining), physiogniomy (face reading), rhabdomancy (wanes, divining rods) etc., When an individual is born with this gifts, they are automatically initiated to the Mami Watas to offer protection, and to enhance their powers and to prevent intrusions, periodic bouts of confusion and fatigue.

Although the above "symptoms" associated with the “call” of  Mami Wata may appear at first glance to be trivial, or even adolescent, they are by no means such. What has been offered is simply a very minute glance into how one is called by the Mami Wata at the most fundamental level of service.

This very general description does not even begin to scratch the surface. However, if you have been experiencing any of the above, this might be an indication of Mami Wata. However, it is important to note that the above symptoms could also indicate or mimic other more serious conditions of emotional, psychological or physical disorders, and it is important to visit your physician for further evaluation.

Once all other medical conditions have been ruled-out seeking out the assistance of a Mami Wata priestesses or diviner familiar with the machinations of the Mami Wata tradition.

initiates to Mami Wata develop a deeper spiritual relationship with Mami for their own personal healing, growth and spiritual fulfillment.   

Because all humanity descend from the African mother, most people are born with some aspect of Mami’s vital force. However, in Africa where the priesthood of Mami was developed and thrived in many families and ethnic lineages for thousands of years, many are born with Mami as an actual guardian deity. Meaning they undergo the full initiation ceremonies in order to carry-out their divine duties to both the deity and to their ancestral lineage family whom have previously honored them.  

Many Africans (including African-Americans) who descend from lineages enslaved in the New World, are particularly connected to the Mami Watas, many having brought them into the New World with their other African deities.  Nonetheless, most who born with Mami Wata as a guardian deity, are  initiated at the level of priestess.

Beware of anthropological stereotypes and over generalizations concerning  the myth that the person appearing in ones dreams is always a “mulatto” or “white” female, or even (rarer), an actual “mermaid”.  

Many initiates to Mami Wata develop a deep spiritual relationship with Mami for their own personal healing, growth and emotional upliftment.   Because Mami Wata is also the guardian of divination, clairvoyance, and other gifts of the spirit, many are initiated to enhance their success with their spiritual gifts or other professional talents (i.e., business/markets, poets, orators etc.,).

Once all other medical conditions have been ruled-out seeking the assistance of a Mami Wata priestesses or diviner familiar with the machinations of the Mami Wata tradition might prove advisable.






African Gods in India

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Web resources and other links on this Site on the Mami Wata



Voodoo: Interview with Mami Wata Priestess

Mami Wata: Ancient African God/dess Reawaken in the Soul of the Diaspora. Article by Mama Zogbe





Mami Wata & Pre-Mohammedean Islam

Mami Wata in African-American Diaspora

Magical Blend Article by Mamaissii Vivian

Interview with Mami Wata priestess

Congo Mami Wata Legends

Densu: Mami Wata in Nigeria

Map of Densu: Mami Wata in Togo & Benin
Mami Wata
Mami Wata Healing Services





Current Academic Research on the Mami Wata

(Note: please be informed that some of the resources listed here describing "Mami Wata" are related to only one minute aspect of these Spirits, as reported by anthropologists. Nonetheless, some of their information is of value and should be represented.)



Mama Zogbé (Hunter-Hindrew M.Ed) Chief Hounon Amengansie

Mami Wata: Africa's Ancient Goddess Unveiled
Mami Wata Healers Society of North America Inc.,Martinez, GA., 2006.


Water Spirit Legends

Nwaanyi Mara Mma: Mami Wata

Journals and Research by Drewal, Gore and others

Mermaid Terms From Around the World

Art: (photos & sculptures of Mami Wata)

Museum-Fuer-Voelkerkunde Kunst

African Art Permanent Collection


Mami Wata, Alexis Ngom, 1996





Sacred & Popular Music of Various Mami Wata divinities in the Diaspora

To hear these songs, please


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Conjunto Folkorico Nacional de Cuba. Smithsonian, Bembe Records, 1996.


Drum Rythms for Ochun, Cuban Santeria (Lucumi)

Sacred Rhythms of Cuban Santeria. Centro de Investigation y Dessarollo. Smithsonian, 1996.


Goddess of the Sea (Benin)-Lyrics

Angelique Kidjo. "Fifa". Polygram 1996.


Olokun (USA)

Dianne Reeves. "Bridges." George Duke Enterprises, 1999.


Imbe Imbé (Oshun) (Cuba/Rada Benin Origins)

Lazaro Ros. "Intuition." 1999.


Kumba (Mali)

"Salif Keita." Island Records, 1991.


Palo (Congo)

Chucho Valdés. Briyumba Palo Congo, Blue Note 1999.


Akwaba (Benin)

Angelique Kidjo. "Fifa". Polygram 1996.