African gods: Yemoja, the caring mother
Yemoja, a water goddess is often portrayed as a benevolent mother. In Yoruba mythology, she is one of 16 Orishas (gods) sent by Olodumare. (The supreme god). Yemoja descended on a rope to create the earth with other Orishas(gods).
She is the patron of the river in Ogun state, Nigeria.She is seen as the figure of motherhood and is revered by barren women as she can provides them with children. It is believed that the first mortal men were birthed by her.
Yemoja is often portrayed as a loving caring mother who can become temperamental and violent if crossed.
She is the goddess of fertility and protector of pregnant women and their children.
Yemoja is the goddess water bodies and is the protector of people who work and travel on the sea. She is the head of the Gelede society (society of mothers).
In wood carvings, she is depicted as a mermaid. Every year a festival is held in her honour, where sacrifices of maize, yam, porridge and other foods are offered to her. New members are also initiated.
Many stories have linked her as the wife of gods like, Okere, Obatala, Erinle and Orisha Oko. She is also the mother of Ogun, Sango, Dada, Ibeji and many other gods.
She is portrayed as having humongous breasts so as to breastfeed her many children.