standing female figure wearing short pleated yellow skirt, belt with tan disks, silver blouse, red and black bolero jacket, silver shoes, and silver necklace with flower or star pendant; woman has long black hair and wide eyes; body intertwined with one snake, another snake around woman's neck; attached black metal mount

Mami Wata figure, 1950s

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Beautiful, seductive, powerful, and fearsome—that’s Mami Wata, a water spirit usually represented as a snake charmer or a mermaid. Her name is derived from the pidgin English for “Mother of Water,” and she is an auspicious yet ambiguous being of great spiritual power. Associated with health and wealth, love and good fortune, she is celebrated throughout Africa and the African diaspora.

Details
Title
Mami Wata figure
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2011.29
Curator Approved

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standing female figure wearing short pleated yellow skirt, belt with tan disks, silver blouse, red and black bolero jacket, silver shoes, and silver necklace with flower or star pendant; woman has long black hair and wide eyes; body intertwined with one snake, another snake around woman's neck; attached black metal mount