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Temne Mami Wata Sculpture, Sierra Leone

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  • Temne Mami Wata Sculpture, Sierra Leone
  • A carved wooden effigy of the Water Goddess Mami Wata, in Mermaid-like form.
  • Measurements: The figure measures 21 inches tall on a professional custom display stand.
  • Condition: Excellent, well handled
  • Mami Wata is often described as a Mermaid-like Figure, with a woman's upper body (often nude) and the hindquarters of a fish or serpent. In other tales, Mami Wata is fully human in appearance (though never human Herself).
  • The Existence and Spiritual Importance of Mami Wata is deeply rooted in the ancient Tradition and Mythology of the coastal southeastern Nigerians (Efik, Ibibio, Igbo, Bahumono and Annang people).
  • Mami Wata often carries expensive baubles such as combs, mirrors, and watches. A large snake (symbol of Divination and Divinity) frequently accompanies Her, wrapping itself around Her and laying its head between Her breasts.
  • Other times, She may pass as completely human, wandering busy markets or patronizing bars. She may also Manifests in a number of other forms, including as a man. Traders in the 20th century carried similar beliefs with them from Senegal to as far as Zambia. As the Mami Wata Traditions continued to re-emerge, Native Water Deities were syncretized into it.
  • While commonly seen with a mirror in Her hand, Mami Wata is able to embody Ritual Performances and Worship Ceremonies for Her Followers through this instrument. Her mirror represents a movement through the present and the future; Her Devotees are able to create their own reality through imaging of themselves in their own recreation of Mami Wata's World. In this World, one can embody Her sacred powers, fulfilling the inventions of their own reality
  • Traditions on both sides of the Atlantic tell of the Spirit abducting her followers or random people whilst they are swimming or boating. She brings them to her Paradisiacal Realm, which may be underwater, in the Spirit World, or both. Should She allow them to leave, the travellers usually return in dry clothing and with a new spiritual understanding reflected in their gaze. These returnees often grow wealthier, more attractive, and more easygoing after the encounter.
  • In Nigeria, devotees typically wear red and white clothing, as these colors represent that particular Mami's dual nature. In Igbo iconography, red represents such qualities as death, destruction, heat, being male, physicality, and power. In contrast, white symbolises death, but also can symbolize beauty, creation, being female, new life, spirituality, translucence, water, and wealth.
  • The Mami Wata Shrines may also be decorated in these colors, and items such as bells, carvings, Christian or Indian prints, dolls, incense, spirits, and remnants of previous sacrifices often adorn such places.
  • Custom mount/ stand included.
  • Origin is Temne People, Sierra Leone, West Africa.