Mami Wata is a water-spirit, sometimes described as a mermaid figure, who can be found throughout the western coastal regions and into central Africa. Mami Wata is described as having long dark hair and compelling eyes. Although she may appear to her devotees (in dreams and visions) as a beautiful mermaid, complete with tail, she is also said to walk the streets of modern African cities in the guise of a gorgeous but elusive woman.
Mami Wata is sometimes seen as a metaphor for modern African conditions — having the knowledge of global wealth and the desire for large-scale consumption, but lacking the actual wealth or access to the world’s wealth that would enable Africans to participate in that system.
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