Didn't think I drew humans. Well, usually I don't, and to be completely honest, this isn't exactly what I'd call human. I'm a little sensitive about criticism over my human drawings (my husband pointed out the weird shaped bust) so please be gracious if criting
I don't like drawing my subjects (human or animal) 'cartooney' but I some how managed to make this one look like Princess Jasmine.
Mami Wata are mermaid-like West African water spirits that are also associated with snakes (male counterpart is a Papi Wata). The iconic fish woman shape was believed to have been inspired from the female figure heads seen on European (slave) ships. I first heard about these from a conversation my mom and our Ghanaian friends were having.
These spirits have the power to grant their worshipers wishes. They 'marry' the Mami Wata and set up a separate room for it inside their homes.
People who ask it for money never seem to run out of money anywhere they go. Money literally comes out of nowhere. And if they travel, whatever currency is used in that country appears. But this always comes with a price. They'll always have money, but will never have children or vice versa; one way or another they cause their follower trouble.
Personally, I see them as evil spirits.
Mine is kind of unconventionally drawn. I drew the fish tail looking a little bit serpentine, to bring out its association with snakes.
The snake around her neck is a Mangrove Snake (Boiga dendrophila), a species found in Nigeria.
More info here: [link]
A mami wata idol [link]
art (c) me
Mami Wata (c) the people of western and central Africa.