Mami Watta of the Ovimbundu peoples, Angola

Mami Wata is venerated in WestCentralSouthern Africa, and in the African diaspora in the Caribbean and parts of North and South America. Mami Wata spirits are usually female, but are sometimes male 

Mami Wata possesses African beauty. The appearance of her hair ranges from straight, curly to kinky black and combed straight back.[4][5][dead link] In many parts of West and Central Africa, “Mami Wata” serves as a slang term for a gorgeous woman.

Mami Wata is often described as a mermaid-like figure, with a woman’s upper body (often nude) and the hindquarters of a fish or serpent.[6][7][8] In other tales, Mami Wata is fully human in appearance (though never human). Mami Wata often carries expensive baubles such as combs, mirrors, and watches. A large snake (symbol of divination and divinity) frequently accompanies her, wrapping itself around her and laying its head between her breasts. Other times, she may try to pass as completely human, wandering busy markets or patronising bars.[4] She may also manifest in a number of other forms, including as a man.[5]

[9][10][11] In the Yoruba tradition, the mother goddess Yemaja has been recently associated with Mami Wata in popular culture.[citation needed] Traders in the 20th century carried similar beliefs with them from Senegal to as far as Zambia. As the Mami Wata traditions continues to re-emerge, native water deities were subsumed into it.[12]