Mami Wata

Nationality: Nigerian/British

Primary Language: English

Age: 20

Occupation: Student

Residence: Los Angeles

Date: 2/19/2024


S.I.- “I heard about the spirit Mami Wata when I was younger, I don’t remember by who, but they were trying to give examples of Nigerian culture-specifically in some villages.” 

Me: “What were the spirits qualities? And why did people call for her?”

S.I.- “They believe that she attracts money and good fortune. If I remember correctly people from villages usually call for her in order to protect their sick.”

Me: “Have you ever seen an experience where someone has called for her help or used her as a household name?”

Sarien: “No, I haven’t. But it definitely is common for people in rural areas of the country to believe in it and many other spirits and deities.”


The participant doesn’t remember directly who told her about this spirit, but assumes it was one of her family members that opened the discussion of other’s cultures within the country. She is also from a city and not a rural part of Nigeria, geographically within the country there are many different beliefs and traditions. 


SZThis interview provided valuable information about the cultural fabric of Nigeria, especially within rural areas. Although the participant’s memory was vague on who told her about the spirit it makes a strong case how cultural transmission of Mami Wata is oral, and how her spirit lives through knowledge passed down within families/communities. This method of cultural transmission helps preserve traditions/beliefs across generations, even if the details become blurred over time. It was also made clear that there is a huge difference between urban and rural perspectives and beliefs within the country. However, the belief in spirits like Mami Wata in rural areas highlights the resilience of traditional practices and their efforts to save or help their loved ones.