Yemaya, Mother of Oceans


Yemaya also spelled Yemanya, is known as the Mother of the Oceans.

Originating in Africa, her worship spread to the Caribbean and Brazil. She was first known to be a river Goddess worshiped for the rivers of West Africa. She was seen as the source of all water. All waters come from her and all fish were her children. Since life is thought to have originated in the ocean she was also seen as the Great Mother of All.

She was known to cure infertility and help women with childbirth.

She was also seen as being very motherly and protective. In Africa she was known as an Orisha, a very powerful nature spirit. In her myth, it is said that she was brutally raped by her son. After this she fled to a mountaintop and cursed her son until he died. In her sorrows she decided to take her own life. As she died she gave birth to fourteen powerful Orisha, when her water broke it created a great flood which made the seven seas.

Since her worship spread from Africa, she took on different forms in other areas.

In Voodoo she is seen as a moon Goddess. In Brazil she is honored at the Summer Solstice as Mother of the Ocean, white and blue flowers are left as her offering. And in the Caribbean she is viewed as the Great Mother of the Oceans.

In this painting of Yemaya, I wanted to represent her as Queen of the Oceans.

She wears a crown befitting an ocean queen and she has a pearl necklace around her neck. She wears clam shells over her breasts and she has long flowing dark brown locks. She rules over the turquoise ocean and all it’s beautiful creatures.

This painting is available as a print in my shop and prayer cards are coming soon. You can find her in my shop here.

Have you ever worked with Yemaya?


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