Here’s How Beyoncé Pays Homage To Yoruba Goddess, Yemoja In ‘Spirit’ Video

July 18, 2019
455 Views

This week clearly belongs to Beyoncé, as the queen has refused to get her foot off our necks. She started things off with the announcement of her star-studded album, Lion King: The Gift, and then broke the internet with the stunning video for its lead single, “Spirit“. 

(Photo: Beyoncé)

Well, in addition to featuring some of our best musicians, Beyoncé has managed to incorporate Nigeria into the narrative once again, as the video for “Spirit” pays homage to Yoruba deity, Yemoja — who is known as the goddess and protector of all living things in the sky, earth and water. 

Basically, in Yoruba mythology, Yemoja is the Beyoncé of all the goddesses, making her inclusion a no-brainer. Using scenic imagery and specific wardrobe, Beyoncé depicts the Yoruba goddess in many different ways, showing how committed she was to the narrative. 

Here’s how she did: 

Goddess Of The Sea: 

Since she resides in the ocean, Yemoja is usually portrayed with water surrounding her. In the video, Beyoncé soulfully launches into the song’s chorus, dressed in blue — Yemoja’s favourite colour and the name of Beyoncé’s daughter — with a stunning waterfall in the background. 

(Photo: Beyonce/ Pintrest)

Mother Of Fertility 

Yemoja is the protector of women, and she governs everything pertaining to women: childbirth, conception, parenting, child safety, love, and healing. Beyoncé’s music certainly addresses all these things, and since her self-titled album, she has definitely become a feminist icon.

(Photo: Beyoncé)

The Cowries 

In the “Spirit” video, one of Beyoncé’s looks has her adorned in cowries, pearls and jewels, which pays direct homage to Yemoja. Being the queen of the entire world, Yemoja was usually depicted to appear wealthy and elaborate, and as we can all see, Beyoncé nailed it. 

(Photo: Beyoncé/The Seven Worlds)

Yemoja & Oshun

Yemoja has a very special relationship with two orishas in particular: Osun and Sango. Osun is often depicted as Yemoja’s sister, with the two usually sporting their distinct colours, yellow and blue. Beyoncé pays homage to their relationship with a standout shot in the video.

(Photo: Beyoncé/ Pintrest)

Yoruba mythology gets a bad rap amongst Nigerians because of its close similarities to traditional worship, which people believe is evil and diabolical. Greek and Roman mythology is widely popular all over the world and is even taught in schools overseas as Classical Civilisation. 

Just like other kinds of mythology, Yoruba mythology is rich with interesting stories about our heritage and culture, and it’s a shame that it’s not as popular in these parts. Well, at least Beyoncé has brought this into our consciousness, and we’ll definitely be looking up all these stories. 

Check out the “Spirit” video right here: 

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