Yemaya is the Yorùbá Orisha or Goddess of the living Ocean, considered the mother of all. She is the source of all the waters, including the rivers of western Africa, especially the River Ogun. Her name is a contraction of Yey Omo Eja, which means "Mother Whose Children are the Fish." As all life is thought to have begun in the sea, all life is held to have begun with Yemaya. She is motherly and strongly protective, and cares deeply for all Her children, comforting them and cleansing them of sorrow. She is said to be able to cure infertility in women, and cowrie shells represent Her wealth.
Yemaya is perhaps the most nurturing of all the Orishas, and it’s believed that all of life comes from her deep nourishing waters.
Her strong and protective energy can be found virtually everywhere, but especially near oceans and lakes.