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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.

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from the Guardian

Benin voodoo festival - in pictures

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

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from the Guardian

Benin voodoo festival - in pictures

Africa | The Egungun wear flamboyant sequin-spangled capes adorned with animal and human motifs. Their faces were veiled by cowry shell screens and it is said to be bad luck if you see their eyes. Eyewitness: Voodoo style, Ouidah, Benin. | © Dan Kitwood

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african gods and goddesses | ... God) in the Yoruba religious system. (Olodumare is also known by by Ogun

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African Goddess of Love | oshun the yoruban goddess of love delights in the creation of beauty ...

Goddess of the Ocean and the New Year. "Iemanjá" known as "Yemanjá" or "Janaína" in Brazilian Candomblé and Umbanda religions. And Yemaya" in the folklore of Yoruba and Afro-Caribbean.

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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".

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from BuzzFeed

These African Deities Are The Best Gods You've Never Heard Of

Photo-manipulation by James C. Lewis inspired by Yoruba deities called Orisha - Found via Buzzfeed, artist's website here: http://www.noire3000studios.com/

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Yoruba African Orishas; Mythology: Ozain, African god of the forest, nature healer, guardian of herbs

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