Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas

Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas

By: Henry John Drewal (author)Paperback

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This book traces the visual cultures and histories of Mami Wata and other African water divinities. Mami Wata, often portrayed with the head and torso of a woman and the tail of a fish, is at once beautiful, jealous, generous, seductive, and potentially deadly. A water spirit widely known across Africa and the African diaspora, her origins are said to lie "overseas," although she has been thoroughly incorporated into local beliefs and practics. She can bring good fortune in the form of money, and her power increased between the fifteenth and twentieth centuries, the era of growing international trade between Africa and the rest of the world. Her name, which may be translated as "Mother Water" or "Mistress Water," is pidgin English, a language developed to lubricate trade. Africans forcibly carried across the Atlantic as part of that "trade" brought with them their beliefs and practices honoring Mami Wata and other ancestral deities.

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About Author

Henry John Drewal is the Evjue-Bascom Professor of African and African Diaspora Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other contributors include Marilyn Houlberg, Bogumil Jewsiewicki, Amy L. Noell, John W. Nunley, and Jill Salmons.


ForewordPrefaceAcknowledgmentsNotes on OrthographyIntroduction: Sources and Currents / Henry John Drewal Part I: Mami Wata in a Cultural Context1. Jolly Masquerades and Mammy Wata in Sierra Leone / John W. Nunley2. Mami in Baule, Guro, and Yaure Arts and Cultures / Henry John Drewal3. Dreamscapes: Sacred Arts for Mami Wata along the Togo-Benin Coast / Henry John Drewal4. The Bourian Masquerade: A Rite of Memory and Identity / Henry John Drewal5. The Many Manifestations of Mami Wata among the Igbo / Henry John Drewal6. Mamy Wata among the Annang Ibibio / Jill Salmons7. Mami Wata / Mamba Muntu Paintings in the Democratic Republic of the Congo / Bogumil Jewsiewicki8. Surfing Mami Wata's Virtual Watas: Mami Wata Resources on the Internet / Amy L. Noell Part II: Mami's Sisters in the African Atlantic9. Water Spirits of Haitian Voudou: Lasiren, Queen of Mermaids / Marilyn Houlberg10. Santa Marta la Dominadora - Afro-Catholic Saint and Dominican Vodu Power / Henry John Drewal11. Celebrating Salt and Sweet Waters: Yemanja and Oxum in Bahia, Brazil / Henry John Drewal Part 3: Mami Inspirations12. Mami as Artists' Muse / Henry John Drewal Notes to the TextReferences CitedIndexContributors

Product Details

  • publication date: 25/04/2008
  • ISBN13: 9780974872995
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 228
  • ID: 9780974872995
  • weight: 477
  • ISBN10: 0974872997

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