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"Who is Mami Wata? She is Mother Water, Mother of Fishes, goddess of oceans, rivers and pools, with sources in West and Central Africa and tributaries throughout the African Americas, from Bahia to Brooklyn. Usually shown as a half-woman, half-fish, she slips with ease between incompatible elements: water and air, tradition and modernity, this life and the next."— Holland Cotter

Mami Wata: Arts for Water Spirits in Africa and Its Diasporas,” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art, celebrates a goddess and her ripples, 2009