Yemayá, Yemònja or Yemòja is the queen of the water and her body are all the rivers, lakes and sea flow from her.

Ye-mo-ja origins from the name Yeye–Omo-Eja, mother of the fish. The word Omo is used in a generic sense. Currently it is associated with the Ògún River and a cult pays in those areas where the river runs, particularly in Abeokuta.

Yemayá, Yemònja or Yemòja was born in the Takua land which is where the Ògún River begins in Nigeria. It is for this reason that this zone has turn to a place of pilgrimage for countless devotees.

Yemayá, Yemònja or Yemòja is as many other Òrisàs adored in different regions and has often different names or forms.

Example: Mayelewo is the one who prevails in Oyo and she was a merchandiser in the city of Shaki, She married with Okefe which is the real name of Òòsàoko but he insulted her by calling her Somu Gaga (large breast) because of her large breast.

Ashamed she submerged into the river and went to live with Olókun using the name Somu Gaga and she only comes out from the ocean in very few occasions and from different places of the coast.

Yemayá, Yemònja or Yemòja is a deity who is associated with dolls, she is carved in precious wood or molded in white clay just like the one I have in my shrine decorated with cowries and she carries secret loads depending on the path she is meant for.

When she is on earth she enjoys living in the entrance of the bushes and she is a hard worker, she also trades food, dyed fabrics and makes oil out of melon seeds.


The children of Yemayá, Yemònja or Yemòja are not allowed to eat watercress or a plant called quimbombo because they are the most powerful herbs of Yemayá.


She dresses in different colours and shapes but the principal colours are white, blue and green in all tones and pink.


She loves white roses and her children brings her a basket with white roses to the seashore where they throw the roses in to the water at the same time as they call her name, when their health is at stake. Yemayá was born with the moon as Obàtálá was born with the sun.



Yemayá or Yemonja or Yemoja did not find someone who she cold get married with but Ògún decided to marry her and out of this union a son called Òrungan was born but Òrungan committed incest with his Mother and she escaped horrified but her hot son chased her and she fell exhaustive into the ground.

Water started to pour from her body and as the water started to transform into a lake the following deities where emanated; Olósà, Olókun, Dadá, Sàngó, Ògún, Oya, Osún, Obá, Òòsàoko, Òsóòsì, Oke, Aje Saluga, Sòponnà, Òrun, Osú.


Yemayá was a very beautiful woman but she didn’t want to get married because she missed one breast and was afraid that her husband would make fun of her because of this.

One day on her way home from the market afflicted she thought of how sad it was to be alone without children and husband to come home to. Ògún heard this and while he was on the same trail and felt a strong urge to married her.

He hugged her and told her; fear not, I know I look fierce and everyone fears me but I promise not to harm you and protect you as long as you promise me to never make fun of my bloodshot eyes.

Yemayá accepted and asked him to never touch her breast and for a long time they fulfilled these promises and Yemayá gave him many children.

One day, Ògún wanted to make something special to Yemayá and started to make her soup but because of his lack of experience he dropped the pot and it broke in thousand pieces as the food fell to the floor.

Yemayá who was resting woke up and run to the kitchen, when she saw the disaster that Ògún hade made, she yelled; what have you done with my kitchen, you with the bloodshot eyes.

Ògún felt ashamed on his knees and reached her to seek consolation, accidentally he touched her breast and she started to tremble.

At the blink of an eye she became water and disappeared, Ògún became very sad at the disappearances of his beloved wife and thought that the gentleness is not made for him, so he went to continue his agitated life as a warrior.


According to our tradition, Yemayá is given a sweep bowl in the colours blue and white with attributes and tools such as; A sun, a full moon, an anchor, a lifesaver, a boat, seven oars, seven bangles, one key, one star and seven silver bangles.

This objects can be made in silver, iron, tin or lead, she also gets a ponytail with blue and white beaded handle, maracas which are used to great her and to capture her attention when she is spoken to, one fan with mother with pearl and gold linkage adorned with beads and shells, round fans made of leaves of guano adorned with peacock feathers.

She uses a richly ornamented robe of burato. All this attributes are adorned with ducks, fishes, netting, stars, seahorses, miniature shells and everything that is related to the ocean. They always carry blue beading and white alternate, stones, cowries etc…

The necklaces are made with seven beadings of transparent crystal called from water and blue, pale blue water, dark blue and opalescent pearls or beads of soap, etc.


The offerings to Yemayá or Yemonja or Yemoja are ram, pigeon, turtle, duck, hen, guano, quail, pork, shrimp stew with capers, boiled eggs, spinach and tomato corn tamale; that is soaked all day, grind in a pestle and cooked in a saucepan without fat and unsalted, is shaped like a pyramid and is wrapped in fresh banana leaves.

Bean razupo (which are black-eyed peas that had been in water and are passed through a grater so that the shell can be removed, the peas are then converted to a paste and you ad salt with chopped garlic, onion and small pieces of ginger to the paste, you then ad a colouring to a hot fat and when it boils.

The paste of the peas is poured in and mixed with salt, garlic ,onion adding ginger to the mixture.

You put a small amount of colouring into a pan with hot fat. When the mixture is boiling you add the boiled beans and steer. (prepare small molds of paper and fill them with the paste).


Her favourite fruit is the water melon, pineapple, papayas, grapes, pears, water, apples, bananas and oranges also fried yam and plantains.


[1] Wealth And Riches: Yemaya or Yemonja or Yemoja gives wealth and riches to her worshipers
[2] Fertility: Yemaya or Yemonja or Yemoja helps barren women to become fertile and get healthy beautiful babies
[3] Cowries Divination: Yemaya or Yemonja or Yemoja foretells the future or warn future dangers
[4] Spiritual Cleansing: Yemaya or Yemonja or Yemoja cleanse her worshipers from bad karma and curses
[5] Aquatic Animals Supply: Yemaya or Yemonja or Yemoja gives her fisher men worshipers abundance of aquatic animals harvest
[6] Protection: Yemaya or Yemonja or Yemoja protects her worshipers from water accidents
[7] Healing: Yemaya or Yemonja or Yemoja heals her worshipers sicknesses and diseases


Iba’se Yemoja


I give praise to you Yemoja
The one who brings goodness
The one who protects women during childbirth
Water makes a place of wealth


Bómi ìyámi
Sómi tómi
Bomi t’òkun
Wè isé àjé mogbé jinà
Fi bun mi omodé
Fi bun mi aláàfíà
Má kò àjé je mi
Má kò enia buburú pa mi
Yemaya ìyá gbogbo
Bómi ìyámi


Yemaya Mother of the fish
Mother of the water on earth
Nurture me, my mother
Protect and guide me
Like the waves of the ocean
Clean the witchcraft that I took away
Give me children
Give me peace
Do not let witches devour me
Do not let the evil people destroy me
Yemoja, mother of all
Nurture me my mother