- Slides: 36
Framing Mami Wata: Women, Water, and Justice Directed by Indrani Pal-Chauduri (Written by Professor’s Eric Montgomery, Nwando Achebe, Indrani Pal-Chudhuri and Folu Ogundium) Humanities Brown Bag Lecture, Wayne State University 10/23/2019 12: 30 -1: 30 2339 Faculty Administration Building
Logline(s) Of all the water spirits throughout the world, Mami Wata, the African mermaid spirit, has served the test of time, spanning the gamut of the African Diaspora. Speaking to environmental, economic, social justice issues of today--Mami Wata forces us to turn inward toward our ancestral past to tackle the core issues of today. Throughout the globe today, women, people of color, and mother nature herself are screaming for inclusivity, justice, and a better world. Four women learn to harness the power of Africa, and unite a world divided by race, gender, and class.
Short Synopsis I. Born in Africa, and spread throughout the world. Mami Wata, the seductive mermaid goddess has gone global and attracted the devotion of millions. As one African women returns home to Nigeria from the US, she is seduced by Mami Wata thus changing her life forever. At a time of enormous turmoil throughout the world, with people questioning neoliberal hegemony in all of its manifestations. Mami Wata reestablishes the black sacred feminine offering us a new and better way of being and seeing, and uniting a divided world.
Short Synopsis II Racism, Sexism, and environmental injustice are the core social justice topics of our time. In this film, four women spear-head a global call to action-- informed by the ancient organizing principles of Africa, and various feminine African spirits of water and land. By igniting the African Renaissance, they lay-out a roadmap for sustainable activism to save a world ravaged by greed and hate. (Photo of “Avepozo” offering, December 2018, Anejo, Togo, Photo by Behumbueza Mami Dan)
Long Synopsis I Women, Water, and Black people are all under assault as globalization, ecocide, and racism continue to rear their ugly heads throughout the world. Mami Wata offers a blueprint for overcoming these injustices through her embodiment of the sacred feminine. Mami Wata connects the natural world of water to the supernatural world of spirits in Vodun and Orisha, thus affirming the dignity and worth of human beings and nature. Beautiful and defiant, Mami Wata is multi-racial, speaks truth to power, and offers economic salvation through her entrepreneurial spirit throughout Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond. Overcoming colonialism, neocolonialism, and other challenges for millennium, Mami Wata, like her fellow Vodun and Orisha kin-mates, is experiencing a Renaissance as the citizens of the global south reclaim dignity in the post-modern world. A most beautiful mermaid goddess, manifesting in all colors and all corners of the globe, Mami Wata visits people in dreams, possesses the bodies of devotees, makes appearances on water and shore, always demanding respect and delivering on promises of success for those whom succumb to her will. Sacred femininity and African religion have been desecrated by patriarchy and mass consumption and so has water throughout the world” (1000 BC to Present). By growing Mami Wata and adhering to all her forms of divination and rules of law: peace, love, respect for the earth, adoration for women, the world can find a cosmic balance, Heaven on earth. If we continue to abuse women and the environment, or time on earth is fleeting.
Collaboration: This film conjoins themes of Women and Water, two of the most persecuted and important resources for life and vitality on earth. Commencing in Michigan with four women studying at Michigan State University, and through various callings and epiphanies, this film raises a call to action on behalf of these women to cooperatively tackle issues of gender, racial, and environmental justice. Feminism: Through an array of happenstances, the women travel to Western Africa, where they are introduced to various aspects of the sacred feminine, signifying on ancient spirits of land water, in Nigeria, Benin, and Togo , while engaging sacred rituals of four ethnic groups. The gods summon the four protagonists to grow their “Women and Water” movement and they then journey to Haiti and Brazil where they forgo more rites of passage involving Mami Wata, Oshun, Yemaya, and Le Siren (the cardinal water spirits in the vibrant African religions there). Justice: As their social justice movement gains collective mobilization through recruitment and by participation across the globe—the women lead a protest ritual in honor of the victims of the Flint water crisis with simultaneous protests in Western Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and throughout the world. At a time when industrialization, capitalism, and neo-liberalism have disseminated water pollution, scarcity, and even “water wars”; and put our very existence as a species in peril. Every living thing on the planet needs water to survive, our bodies are 80% water, and so is the earth itself. Revolution: These women are able to bridge often polarized realms: science/religion; black/white; male/female; economics/environment; us/them—and, through the art of collective action and mobilization bring together excluded and marginalized groups facilitating a revolution of sustainable activism throughout the world. They present us with a better way, and rebuild the world, with ancient ancestral black gods as their motivation, to grow their women and water movement globally, and offer these long neglected and maligned spirits a place at the table of modernity and enhance life for all. Long Synopsis II
The Greeks, Romans early had co-opted their own version of Mami Wata (Calypso, Poseidan, Olympia, Neptune) but soon worked hard to erase the “Black Gods” (and their offspring) from existence. At the same time, industrialization, capitalism, and neoliberalism have disseminated water pollution, scarcity, and even “water wars”—thus, putting our very existence as a species in peril. Every living thing on the planet needs water to survive, our bodies are 80% water, and so is the earth itself. We need water, and we need Mami Wata. Interest in the sacred feminine, Mami Wata spirits, and other spirits (Yemaya, Oshun, etc. ) is growing and this project is a film on social justice: justice for black gods like Mami Wata, and justice for Mami Wata worship itself. For many people of African descent, “things have fallen apart. ” Historian Nwando Achebe and her daughters seek to honor the legacy of their ancestors (Chinua Achebe), by returning to Africa after being visited by Mami Wata in dreams. As they question the state of the world and the collective disempowerment of black people everywhere, Mami Wata summons the Achebe’s to be initiated into her order. What happens after that is a spiritual revolution and awakening and Achebe and family visit Benin, Togo, Ghana, Haiti, Brazil, and Cuba– thus awakening the world to a Global South Renaissance led by Mami Wata and her millions of Wives. The film culminates with a grand Mami Wata ceremony held simultaneously on three continents, and in several dozen countries which unites people across race, class, and gender summoning in a new era of respect for nature, ancestors, and each other.
Mami Wata Questions? Who is Mami Wata? What are other related African spirits of Water and Land? Why a film about the African Feminine Water Spirits? Major Ideas? Themes of Social Justice: Racism/Discrimination; Patriarchy and Feminine Empowerment; Ecological/Water Issues Mixing Ethnographic Film and Magical Realism Jean Claude Rouch (Participatory Film-Making/ Photo-Voice) “An Act of Killing” meets “The Science of Sleep”
Mami Dan: The Set-up? The Sybils: Death of Black Femininity? Is Mami thousands of years old? Antagonists: Racism, Sexism, and Ecocide are all ensconced in the patriarchy of white supremacy, this is the counter-narrative
Mami Wata Mythology: Sailors and Colonists Mami Wata is often described as a mermaid- like figure, with a woman's upper body (often nude) and the hindquarters of a fish or serpent.  In other tales, Mami Wata is fully human in appearance (though never human). The existence and spiritual importance of Mami Wata is deeply rooted in the ancient tradition and mythology of the coastal southeastern Nigerians (Efik, Ibibio and Annang people). Mami Wata often carries expensive baubles such as combs, mirrors, and watches. A large snake (symbol of divination and divinity) frequently accompanies her, wrapping itself around her and laying its head between her breasts. Other times, she may try to pass as completely human, wandering busy markets or patronising bars. She may also manifest in a number of other forms, including as a man. Traders in the 20 th century carried similar beliefs with them from Senegal to as far as Zambia. As the Mami Wata traditions continued to re-emerge, native water deities were subsumed into it.
Who is Mami Wata? Mami Wata is a pantheon of local water spirits whose alluring attraction has turned her loose globally. Her colonial mimetic nature reminds us of the resistance of other regional spirit possession orders, like the Hauka, Zar, and Bori cults of other regions in Africa. These possession and healing orders reflect the empowerment and socially transformative nature of southern denominations of Vodu. Along the coast of Benin there are many practitioners who double as Mamiassi (Mami Wata priests or adepts). Those initiated and “married” to Mami Wata work hard to appease her. Gorovodu adepts associate her with Mama Tchamba, the slave spirit spectrum, while others insist she is of Yewe origins, and Ouidah specifically (Rosenthal 1998: 116). Some have placed her provenance to the lagoons of southwestern Nigeria, and other locals say she is from “Congo” or Cameroon. In one ceremony, a drawing of a Mami Wata stool or mami zikpe (throne) is made on the ground outside of the shrine, and many artisans work on making her “children” the white-washed concrete statues which lay throughout most Mami shrines, symbolizing lost or sick babies.
Behumbeza (High Priest of Mami Wata) Anejo, Togo, 12/2018 Ave Pozo
Constructing the Story-line
Mami Wata, Sacred Feminine. Act I *This has changed I. The First Act (The Setup) “History of Mami Wata”: Egypt and World / The Sacred Feminine Maps of where Mami Wata is present/ Other water spirits and gods? Mami Wata in West and Central Africa Her many names a. Oshun in Nigeria and the New World / b. Oxum in Brazil, Mermaid sightings and fishing stories / c. La Siren in Haiti i. Mami Wata in Ghana, Togo, Benin, Central, and Southern Africa II. Inciting Incident: Death of Matriarchy / Pollution and Destruction of the Waters 2. Abrahamic Religions and Killing the Sacred Feminine 3. Capitalism, Consumption, Environmental Degradation, and Mami Wata Supression III. Ethnographic Footage: Mami Wata Shrines, Myths and Rituals Mami Wata 1) Visions and Initiations 2) Patakine/Fable 1 IV. Plot Point (Life will never be the same again for Mami Wata) Discrimination and Greed………Hook? Call to action: Can we re-invent Mami Wata?
ACT II. Resolution Slavery on the Ocean, Wealth from Colonialism Can we return to our ancient myths and organizing principles of Vodun and other earth-based religions? Will Mami Wata grow, and what can she offer the world? The Second Action (Rising Action of Mami Wata Pantheon) Mami Wata responds to the patriarchy, hate, and control by religion and men Mami Wata responds to male dominance in the political, economic, and environmental spheres Female Power is wiped out around the world stemming from Middle East in all directions (History research here). Character Arc: MW builds her powers, since water is life. Co-Protagonists join the brigade Story of MW and Ogun/Egun (War and Iron) Story of MW and Papa Legba (trickster) MW marriage to Shango/Heviesso (God of thunder/lightning) Deals with Antagonists (Christians, Muslims, Colonialists, Elites) Her mentors and co-protagonists Her mission: o restore cosmic balance / To empower women to their rightful place / To deter pollution and destruction
Act III Why is this important? Link to social justice issues: The need for female empowerment Interfaith dialogue and cultural relativity Cleaning and managing our water (Flint side-note) Our future depends on it Linking the ancient to the postmodern The third act: Resolution Story and Subplots Climax Resolution Take-Away
I. Main Characters (New version here) I. Nneka, Igbo woman—(Nneka), ogbanje mmili, History professor at MSU. Idemili, Ani. Christian (protestant), Brazil, Lansing, MI, works in East Lansing II. Kehinde, Yoruba woman—(Kehinde, Iyalokun (mother of seas) or Malokun (mother of the seas)—water name as well) Lawyer, Twin. Grand Blanc, Flint (retained by a group of African-Americans for a class action lawsuit), Oshun (goddess of the river), Elegba isu (God of Crossroad). Sent first twin, Taiwo, out to check out the world. She is the older twin. Islam. A. Naming ceremony. (water, salt, honey, pepper corn, palm wine etc. ) B. Water symbol affirms the important of water as an important element. Twins have tradition of going to river to perform certain chores. Play by the water. Oshun, water spirit emerges from water and speaks to the maidens. In conversation with young maidens gives them visionary power or extraordinary intellect that they can use for the benefit of the world. You had a sister in the past, from 400 years in the past, you will meet her in the future. C. Working on a class action lawsuit for a group of African American women in Flint D. These African American women have come to her because of the lead poisoning experienced by their kids. III. Dr. Sonya, African-American/White (Ewe) woman—Medical doctor, (African American name) Sonya (name) (Togo) Grand Blanc, Flint, Hurley Hospital. Sakrabode (land), Nana Wango (water spirit). Haiti, Christian. A. Treats African American kids with lead poisoning B. Suggests to parents that they might wish to look into finding a lawyer. Have a case. C. In search of lawyer, find Kehinde IV. Patience, Fon and Latina Mixed Women—Mama Benz (educated one). Accountant. Sakpata (earth), Mami Wata, Lansing. Christian. (Much more to come here)
I. General Layout A. ACT 1 1. Opening Scene—Michigan State University, 17 or 18 years old. They are in “Africa and the World” class. Lecture being giving on African gods and goddesses o a. These young women are dispersed throughout the class o b. They do not know each other o c. As professors talk about African gods, with ethnographical film. These 4 women are immersed in the film. Everyone else is just doing their thing as college student tend to in these sorts of classes. 2. The Meeting—Fast forward to an African Student Cultural, MSU. On stage, African fashion show, in background Victor Uwaifo’s Mami Wata playing in the background. 3. Graduation—They all graduate. Nneka and Patience remain friends. They both live in the greater Lansing area. They meet up from time to time for lunch and girl’s night out.
4. Women’s Work—Kehinde the lawyer is with her Law Firm discussion a case with her colleagues a different pro bono case; Nneka will be giving a keynote at a professional conference; Sunya the Medical Doctor (seeing a spike in unusual cases of water borne diseases in Flint kids); Patience the Fon Accountant, is working on her clients taxes, because it is tax season. 5. Personal Crises—Each has a personal crisis—divorce, death in the family, an economic crisis (bankruptcy and thus reaches out to Fon Accountant), nervous breakdown (see Yoruba doctor at Hurley) o A. Nneka goes through a terrible divorce, breakdown (spouse is controlling, jealous of her success, hits her once and it’s the last time he hits her. Sinks into depression after divorce, because she’s given so much to husband. ) Meets Kehinde because she needs a divorce lawyer. A. Kehinde (house burns down, and she loses only picture of her beloved grandmother. Traumatic situation which leads to dreams) B. Dr. Sonya (Ewe woman—African America)—mother dies of cancer, which becomes her crisis (death in family)
A. Patience the Accountant (most developed scenes and character…)— bankruptcy—struggles with repaying student loan, which leads to study Accountancy. Becomes wealthy, lives in mansion in White Hills. Single parent, son attends private school. School shooting, deriving from one of workers being fired; and that worker comes back to the daycare with gun to shoot owner. Bullet ricochets and strikes Patience son, Jalen dies. 1)Jalen’s death and Nneka’s traumatic divorce bring Patience and Nneka together. 2)Patience’s Christianity does not provide answers as to why Jalen was murdered. Devastated, depressed. Seeks out the services of a white psychic woman. 3)Physic performs session, sees images of mami wata and sakpata which freaks her out. She does not understand who or what these images are. But, nevertheless shares them with Patience. 4) Patience realizes that these are images that she is seeing in her dreams A. Does more research and decides that she must go home for answers.
B. Act II Dr. Sonya and Kehinde, because of the publicity surrounding the Flint Water crisis are being interviewed on CNN. Patience and Nneka are out having lunch, see their old friends being interviewed on TV, and immediately say that they need to do something. Nneka decides to write an Op-Ed for the Flint Journal on the historical connection between slavery, and the intimate ties between race, class, and environmental justice in the Flint Water crisis. Nneka’s Op-ed garners a lot of momentum and attention. We see Kehinde reading The Flint Journal Op-ed, “Oh my God, that’s my girl!” Has her assistants track Nneka down. Patience, while still wallowing in her personal grief, thinks about the kids of Flint, many of whom where about the same age that Jalen was before he was murdered. She knows that she has to do something. Jalen would have wanted her to do something. Actual news clips of Flint Water Crisis (global) Kehinde calls Nneka, “Girl, I love, your piece. We can use you. Why don’t you come to our next Town Hall? ” Afterwards, they reminisce about their college days, and Patience. Nneka catches Kehinde up on Patience’s personal tragedy. Kehinde asks Nneka to bring Patience along with her to the Town Hall Meeting. It might help her. Nneka calls Patience. “Guess what? Girl, I heard from Kehinde! She inviting us to a Town Hall in Flint.
Town Hall—Reunion Nneka and Patience are sitting in Town Hall and listening to the horrific testimonies of residents that were affected by this Crisis, city and state officials, professional expects including Dr. Sonya is testifying about medical implications of the crisis with regards to the effect on the children and residents. Kehinde provides an update on the legal action that the community is taking and the legal implications of all this. There is a juxtaposition of testimonies in the Town Hall (mix of professional testimonies, City people, and individual stories). Angry outraged parents. Soon the friends start getting messages on their NGO (Jalen’s Own) online platform set up to aid the Flint crisis. These are messages of solidarity and also invitations for them expand their mission and visit their communities to fight the same issues. Thus, moving from a regional to Global issue.
Kehinde and Nneka decide to go back home to Nigeria. Each plans to visit their natal communities, but they d to do it together in order to give each other moral support. They have their divinations in their natal communities. While they are having the first divination ceremony in Nneka’s community, because of the experi that they have in that ceremony, Nneka and Kehinde determine to involve their sisters, Patience and Sonya in water purification ceremony. They particularly feel that this would benefit Patience with her healing. Kehin and Nneka make arrangements with priests in Fonland to schedule a divination and water purification ceremony their friend. Call Patience relate their incredible experience to her and tell Patience and Sonya to meet th Benin Republic to witness a water purification ceremony with them. It will be good for their water project i Flint. Patience and Sonya do not know that Kehinde and Nneka have actually arranged a water purification cer for them. So the friends all meet in Whydah. In Whydah during the water purification ceremony, Mami Wata reveals herse Patience and Sonya, and they are both instructed to have their divinations done immediately. As the Mama Wat spirit dissolves, a priest of the ceremony approaches Sonya and Patience and instructs them to go with him (Patience and Sonya are still in a trance), “The god of the oracle is calling you. ” They go with him to the shrine, accompanied by Nneka and Kehinde. The divination is performed, Patience learns of her Mama Benz line and also learns that the death of Jalen was foretold, that they must hold a new ceremony to bring his spirit home. They also inform her that her work in “Jalen’s Own” was ordained and she should continue with what she doing. In Sonya’s case, she is welcomed back home and informed that she has been on a 400 -year journey and t both sides of her lineage are from Togo. Therefore, her journey will not be complete until she makes a pilgr to the shrine in Lome. All friends journey to Lome and it is at the Lome shrine that Sonya is given her new She is told the story of her forebearer and commended on the good work that she is doing with the children o Flint. Now that she has completed her journey, her good works have only just begun.
More ideas to come here… Needs more work In Lome someone in trace tells the women that this goes beyond Africa and that they must unite with their brothers and sisters on the other side of the Atlantic. Subtitle for flash back scenes “Who’s Your Orisha” Brazilian and Haitian characters (lesser roles) woman Vodou in Haiti
Let’s Look at Some Video Mixing Cinema Verite with Simulations?
Mami Wata: Goddess of the Sea! https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=0 Sv 5 Rrn 6 lac&feature=yo utu. be (short rough cut 2 -13 -14) Mami in Focus https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=9 FJh. Eke 4 WMw (2005 rough cut) https: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=0 Sv 5 Rrn 6 lac&feature=yout u. be (long version 2019, Avepozo Mami Wata
This “Kernel” of Desire? The initiated? Oshun. Nwando’s Initiation and Dream Formation, and in fact Beyoncé’s career, finds agency. Beyoncé has successfully managed, through the subversive realm of desire, to empower herself to an almostgodlike level of control, both of her image and of her life. Formation is simultaneously celebration and protest (van Stipriaan 2005), a combination that is a direct parallel to the logic behind the occluded femininity of Watra-mama.
Egyptian/Sudanic “roots” to Ewe, Fon, and Mina words? Not Syncretism Mama Isis (Mamiassi) MW has often been conflated by us in anthropology as a mix or syncretism of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, or Muslim elements, but it is probably they who did the “borrowing” since Africa came first! For centuries the entire world has sought to undermine the African cosmology and spiritual intellect and science, but history does not lie, the world has created its own “myth” about the true nature of Mami Wata. African ancestral power has maintained a continuity through spiritual lineages for perhaps thousands of years, and so many words in Yoruba, Adja, and Ewe in West Africa have both Egyptian and Sudanic roots. The “reptilian” nommo of the Dogon probably stem from Egypt and Sudan, as do many other myths and rituals dispersed throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
The Calling? Typically the “calling” by a Mami Wata deity has many universal aspects for men and women. Eventually, it is confirmed in the MW shrine, near the sea, or sometimes in the sacred forest in what is called an “opening of the mouth” ceremony. Afa, or Ifa divination is also used to cross-calibrate the gods desire to take human beings as adepts and/or wives. When MW visits potential initiates it can be in a dream, through an act of abduction (often by the sea), or by creating emotional and psychological defects of character, ranging from depression and insomnia, to nightmares, madness, or spiritual psychosis.
Epiphany: Densu Dattatreya MW often visits ones in dreams, which are reoccurring, and often lucid, with little differentiation or variation in theme. These dreams intensify overtime, indicative of her desire to possess and merge one’s personhood with her own godhood identity. One’s concerns become so apparent, that they go to a diviner to determine the nature of these night visits. Sometimes this visitor is a mulatto, white or Indian female, even a “mermaid”, but most of my contacts in Ghana and Togo are visited by “black women”. So ethnicity, like gender, is not important. After all, these gods do not conform to human aspects of race, gender, or sexuality.
Mami Dan (Vodu Da) Mami Wata deities are the owners of all forms of divination, including aspects of “Wicca” and other female soothsayer methods: numerology, necromancy, astrology, botanmancy, reading entrails, cartomancy, catoptomancy, cheirmoncy (palms), cairaudience (hearing voices), clairvoyance, crystallomancy (crystal balls), dactyliomancy (pendulums), gyromancy (divination by spirit possession), hydromancy, physiogniom (face reading), rhabdomancy (divining rods), etc. (More here add this to the outline). When an individual is born with these gifts, they are automatically initiated into the Mami Watas to order protection and ensure their powers to prevent future intrusions, periodic bouts of confusion and fatigue. (Add in the persecution here, the witch trials of sorts). These are among the many “signs” which tie certain human beings to the sacred water goddess MW! This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC
Final Outline and Story Arc: 1 and 2 I. Overview/Nigeria: A. Introduction of Characters (Nwando, 2 daughters, Igbo Priest) 1. Nwando recited how and why things fall apart, how MW has been calling her. 2. Dream is an epiphany a call from ancestors to establish MW order (Pan- African, story arc) B. Flashback to Ancient Egypt: Female Sybils and Diviners, link to Isis 1. Universality of Snakes and Water Gods 2. Quick mapping and animations of Druids, Nagas (India), Native American, Serpents and Mermaids_--- how cultures around the world use religious imagination, “myth” and ritual to make sense of the world (maso-maso) 3. Establish core universal themes (1. Protect the earth, 2) Ties of moon, water, femininity, women as god, 3) Bitter money, 4) Witchcraft based in greed and hegemony/patriarchy, 5) Racism and Violence as contrary to all religions (Peace and Inclusivity: MW as contemporary social justice activism) C. Etymology of the term “Mami Wata”, Sudanic/Hieroglyphic roots 1. Interview with Legesse Allyn on linguistic roots, women in ancient world 2. Interview with Guerin Montilus (Detroit), the connection between MW, Yemaya, Oshun. Connect Vodu, Orisha, Water to Indigenous World D. Layout gender/race issues… 1. Interview Suzanne Blier, bring in Art, Symbol and Power 2. Interview Judy Rosenthal on Water, Women, Vodun 3. Tie in ethnographic B Roll from Togo (Rosenthal and Montgomery) 3. Interview Terry Rey on Vodun and Orisha: Atlantic worl E. Inciting Incident: Destruction of Black Sacred Feminine 1. Montage of Interviews with Allyn, Rey, Achebe, Pal-Chauduri. 2. How are race, class, gender, and environmental justice related? (MW as acounter-narrative to re-establish cosmic balance. II. Benin: Nwando consults ancestors and is asked to go to Benin at once A. Daughters and Nwando make a trek to Sacred Forest in Ouidah, hold ceremony on beach, MW and Tchamba possession (Link MW to slavery) B. Meet the other 7 major gods of Yewe Vodu. Each of them discusses their knowledge of Ibo and Yoruba gods (they are all connected). C. Nwando, Yoruba Babalawo, and Beninoise Hounsi establish a shrine at Ouidah D. Rituals are done at Sacred Forest and Temple of Pythons E. MW visits the ceremony, talks about the conversionist mentality of Islam and Christianity. 1. MW flies Nwando to Togo (animation scene) 2. At Togo, Nwando comes upon a MW ceremony on the beach 3. Offering/Vossa is done
Location 3 and 4: Togo and Ghana III. Togo/Ghana: Nwando send her daughters back to Nigeria. A. The MW shrine in my village (Gbetsogbe) is neglected, MW cries, a renewal ceremony is performed. 1. Many people fall into trance 2. MW re-appears as beautiful mermaid in morning on beach 3. 2 new characters arrive (Kofa and Asana). Were in trance. a. Nwando takes them with her to Ghana b. Divination scene, Sacred Mami Dan lineage is revealed c. Ceremony at Wli waterfall, MW and Dan appear talking about destruction of earth and water (Fade out) B. Next Morning / Abduction Scene: Young man is taken under the water and disappears, he reappears later and recounts his story to the masses 1. Underground lair story, he is loyal only to MW 2. He becomes rich and marries Nwando’s oldest daughter in Nigeria at shrine IV. Ghana and Nigeria (back and forth): A. Daughters establish shrine in Igboland, make trek to Osun river, 1. The ties between MW and Oshun (Vodun and Orisha) established. 2. Polluted rivers from Petroleum Industry, environmental issue here 3. Senegalese Signeres: plastic B. Fast-Forward Back to Ghana 1. Cape Coast and Elmina Castles, ceremony and libation for slaves 2. Fante and Asante water gods revealed by women in trance 3. They ask Nwando to to grow and connect the new water pantheon in Caribbean and Brazil (Gods and Ancestors Unite: Slavery) 4. The Global South Renaissance is Introduced 5. Man fishing in Ocean runs into Mami Wata who is on the shore pampering herself. She tells the fishermen to find Nwando at once. 6. MW/She flees and leaves her sacred objects on shore a. (Divination confirms Nwando must go to Caribbean, Haiti)
Location 5 and 6: Haiti and Cuba V. Haiti: Northern Haiti A. Nwando arrives at the shrine of St. Philomena in N. Haiti (Limonade) VI. Cuba Hounsi in Haiti talk with Babalawo from Cuba (airport scene) B. Interview with Terry Rey on Vodou/Orisha 1. Connects Haiti to Africa 2. Limonade (La Sirene and Agwe arrive a. feminine power again. b. Nwando speaks about how global MW order is growing as resistance to neoliberalism, spiritual decolonization is real c. MW is connecting all the black gods of the Diaspora. C. Ceremony: La Sirene and Agwe Possession a. Dr. Cleophat interview about possession and Agwe b. Nixon Cleophat connects Haiti to Cuba, agrees to go to Cuba with Nwando A. They run into a mixed Haitian/Cuban Vodou adept, she goes into trance, are asked to visit Santiago de Cuba. B. In Cuba: we meet Oshun adept (Sando) he is a painter C. Sando and Nixon discuss gender fluidity in Cuba and Brazil D. Interview with Eric Montgomery discussing the Vodon/Orisha connection in Cuba and Haiti E. Oshun and Yemaya shrine in Cuba 1. Nwando receives a call from a Brazilian Babalawo who talks of a mermaid citing in Brazil. 2. Nwando rides a whale/dolphin to Brazil from Cuba (or astral projection)
Location 7, 8, 9: Brazil, Nigeria, USA VII. Brazil A. Professor Ivan Poli discussed the African Renaissance of Global South B. Poli and Nwando discuss the growing MW order C. They travel to Bahia to MW Jeje Shrine D. Then to Oshun/Yemaja shrine E. Re-enactment: Oshun on Freud’s couch (Poli story) F. Oshun/Yemaya/Oya/MW (black and white) have a meeting in Sacred Forest 1. It is determined that Nwando must take this to the US 2. Nwando/MW visit Flint river, MW visits her there 3. Through revelation a mass initiation ceremony is to be held on Lake Michigan 4. People from throughout the US and Diaspora come to get initiated 5. There is a huge Ceremony held in unison at all locations 1. Scenes from Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Benin, Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, US…. 2. Nwando receives a phone call from her daughters to return to Nigeria. VIII. Nigeria #2 A. Conference of elders and MW/Oshun priests/priestesses establish a decree to make MW/Vodun/Orisha a World Religion B. The numbers are in the millions C. Interview with Terry Rey and Tim Landry D. Nwando’s youngest daughter is crowned Queen of MW in Nigeria VIIII. . (Flint River, Great Lakes)? Nwando discusses MW and Social Justice activism from MSU (location TBD) A large MW movement brings in BLM, #me. Too, env justice in DC B. A new social movement of Mami Wata speaks truth to power. (Fade to Black) End
Ideas? Comments? ? ? Cultures throughout the world, particularly those of African descent, descend from lineages and kin-groups who for generations were initiated into Mami Wata and related orders, and an pronounced arrival is happening throughout the Atlantic world. My own initiation in to Mami Wata was a spiritual awakening, and like others, I have always had a long-standing romance with water, as well as immense love and respect for femininity. As women (and many men) around the world stand up collectively in support of female agency and human rights, the time Is now to fully embrace Mami Wata. This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA