Women of the Waters

Slowly remembering the depth of my roots

Yey Omo Eja (Yemaja), Yoruban Orisha of fertility, the waters — The Mother of Mothers. Yorubaland encompasses southwestern Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. These beautiful, resilient African countries saw the largest number of its population unwillingly transported to the Americas beginning in the 15th century.

Atabey, Taíno Earth goddess of fertility and the waters. Taínos are the native peoples of modern day Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Cuba, and Hispaniola. Within 40 years of Spanish colonialism, they lost 85% of their population.

Yemaja and Atabey are the nurturing guides who have brought so many souls relief. They are the Mothers. Bridges built between the lands and the seas, bearing the weight of connection that most women do. Two spirits with the same essence borne from the hearts of people from two different continents.

I’ve dreamed of women bathed in robes of glowing waters since I was a child. They always beckoned me to plunge into their depths. To trust myself and to move forward without fear. I now know that they aren’t just dreams.

They were prophecies.

I see myself as a bridge between two worlds: a daughter of Taíno and Yoruba, my very existence a beautiful unification of two people forced to endure lives they had not chosen. A testament to the resilience of both groups. A woman of the waters, who fears not the depths or the waves.

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