South African photographer Steve Marais has put out a rather impressive representation of an African figure that we are quite familiar with. The “mami wata” (Mermaid) image is deeply ingrained in African stories told to children, warnings given to young men about extremely light-skinned girls from riverine areas and more.
The Mami Wata is feared and yet remains quite an intriguing figure seen with the ability to do either good or bad. Using models Patricia Tumpa, Serati Maseko and Lindiwe, Steve Marais uses African hairstyles and African objects to represent the historic spirit.
In his photographs, Steve Marais attempts to capture this figure, who is always seen as a woman, in all her beauty and splendour. The Mami Water is often described as the bringer of good fortune, a healer of the sick, a nurturing mother and a complex representation of good versus evil.by