[157] Yemanjá

Completion Date: 24 Feb 2019
Medium: Paint & ink on cardboard
Dimensions: 16 X 20 inches

In Candomblé (the Afro-Brasilian religion), Yemanjá is one of the seven Orishas (spirits in human form). White roses are used as a ritual offering. She is the Queen of the Ocean, the patron spirit of the fishermen and the survivors of shipwrecks, the feminine principle of creation, and the spirit of moonlight. Saturday is the consecrated day of Yemanjá.

She is often depicted as a mermaid, and is associated with the moon, water, and feminine mysteries. She is the protector of women and governs everything pertaining to women; childbirth, conception, parenting, child safety, love, and healing. She oversees deep secrets, ancient wisdom, the moon, sea shells, and the collective unconscious. According to myth, when her waters broke, it caused a great flood creating rivers and streams and the first mortal humans were created from her womb.

Yemanjá (also spelt Lemanjá in Portuguese) is the Afro-Brasilian adaptation of Yemoja, a major water deity from the Yoruba religion, practiced in present-day Southwestern Nigeria and the adjoining parts of Benin and Togo. She is the mother of all orishas, having given birth to the 14 Yoruba gods and goddesses. The trans-Atlantic slave trade brought her from Nigeria to Brasil, via the Caribbean.