African Mythology:

Yemaya is known under other names: Yemoja, Nana Buruku, Yembo, Olocun, etc..

In West African mythology Yemaya is a very important goddess. She was the first mother, she rules the waters of the world, they are her blood. Yemaya also brought fertility to the world. Since she is the spirit of water nothing can live without her. All things, plant and animal, are partly made from her. For all these reasons and more she is called the Queen of the World.

Yemaya is a very primitive goddess as you can see from the above. I was only slightly paraphrasing what her own followers say about her. In the religions of Nigeria and Dahomey she has many feast days and is highly venerated. Like other water goddesses she is associated with the moon, fertility and sexuality.

According to African mythology the Supreme Being created a pantheon of gods and goddesses called Orishas. The Orishas regulate the world and act as intermediaries between men and the Supreme Being. After the Supreme Being created the world He discovered that it had a large hole in it. He filled the hole with water he made from some gas clouds. At the same time he created Yemaya and gave her domain over all the waters. At night she becomes Nana Buruku, the moon, mysterious and mystical. She regulates day and night so that neither is too long. Like other moon goddesses she controls the tides and the rain. She is very beautiful and brought beauty into the world.

When Yemaya married Oddua, the first man, she became the first mother. She is the mother of all the other Orishas. As a mother she brought compassion into the world. Her marriage with Oddua is the marriage of earth and water, all else is created from that. Their love is the greatest in the world and lasts until today. When their love stops earth and water will be separate again and it will be the end of the world.

Click here to read about Yemaya's daughter in African mythology.

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