Yemanja is an orisha, originally of the Yoruba religion, who has become prominent in many Afro-American religions. Yoruba people, from what is now called Yorubaland, brought Yemaya/Yemoja and a host of other deities/energy forces in nature with them when they were brought to the shores of the Americas as captives. She is the ocean, the essence of motherhood, and a fierce protector of children.
Benin: Benin's Mysterious Voodoo Religion Is Celebrated In Its Annual Festival A Egungun spirit stands during the ceremony. Ouidah is Benin's voodoo heartland, and thought to be the spiritual birthplace of voodoo or vodun as it known in Benin. Ouidah, a former slave port on the Atlantic Ocean, about 25 miles from Cotonou, Benin's capital city, is known by many as the birthplace of voodoo Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Egungun is a part of the Yoruba pantheon of divinities. In the indigenous religious system of the West African tribe of that name, the spirit is of central importance. It is the eventual end of all living beings, and as such is regarded as the ancestral "collective".