More contemporary stories and images show the deity as a human-like figure dressed in the latest fashions. Despite these manifestations being almost universally female in appearance, Mami Wata is actually a pantheon of water deities consisting of both male and female, such as the ancient Densu in the Togo Mami Wata pantheon, and Olokun of the Yoruba. These deities are understood to be non-human, so those who are born and initiated to them consider questions of gender and race unimportant. Today, the most frequently encountered image of Mami Wata is a long-haired woman with a snake circling her torso, based on a 19th century chromolithograph of a snake goddess. This image created by an artist from Hamburg, Germany named Schleisinger, was actually inspired by the ancient imagery of Isis in her role as “Virgin (meaning unmarried) Mother” where she is sporting the young solar child Horus. This iconography is considered the oldest manifestation of Mami (Isis). Just as the ancient African, Ishtar, Cybelle, and Hathor, Isis was originally portrayed with braided hair accompanied by two serpents draped around her neck. To the ancient Egyptians, she was known as RENN, meaning “born from the place of the fishes”, and her son Horus, was known as “RENNU,” meaning an “unnamed fish/serpent child.” (Massey 1994, p. 238).
the masses or spelled otherwise, them asses.