Mawu: Dahomey Moon Goddess

Mawu is a creation Goddess who created the mountains, rivers, and all the animals. She is symbolized by clay and the moon and is a goddess over creativity, inspiration, birth, passion, and Universal Law.

Who is Mawu?

Goddess and creator of life, the moon, motherhood, natural laws, seeds, and agriculture.  Mawu created all the people and animals on earth from clay.

She is symbolized by clay, elephants, spring, vitality, and seeds.

Mawu in the America’s

Mawu is worshipped in West Africa specifically by the Dahomey and Fon cultures. These people live in what is now Benin, southern Nigeria, and Togo. They were resistant to both Christianity and Islam during colonization.

During the slave trade, many of them were cruelly captured and taken to the Americas as slaves. They brought with them their traditional culture. Many of them were sold in the Caribbean Islands where we still see strong ties to their vudo traditional practices.

Mawu, Moon Goddess of the Dahomey

Drawing of a Dahomey woman by Artist Élisée Reclus a French geographer, writer, artist in 1905


Mawu is a creatrix goddess, one who is a strong force of feminine power and energy. A Creatrix has a deep connection to the cycles of the moon and teaches women to honor and restore their bodies. She is creative and courageous.

Spirit Animals

Mawu arrives in spring on an elephant's back pregnant with all life.

She has a snake, an ancestor spirit, named, Aido Hwedo, that props the earth up.

Her monkey Awe helps her to create animals out of clay. However, Awe feels he can create humans and creates chaos on earth. He is then punished by Mawu as an example that only she can create life.

Read more about moon goddesses in our blog

Mawu Family

Depending on the myth Mawu is either the wife and/or the sister of the male god Lisa. Lisa is the Sun God. Mahu and Lisa are the children of Nana Buluku the supreme mother goddess.

Mawu is associated with the moon and is a gentle and loving mother. Lisa is associated with the sun and is a fierce warrior.

Sometimes they work together to benefit mankind. In one traditional mythos, Mawu created the earth and grew tired so she went to rest in the heavens. When she saw that things were going poorly on earth she sent Lisa to help man. He made tools and cleared the forests so that men could farm and live a civilized life.

They had 13 children including their son, Xevioso, the God of Thunder.

Plant a Seed

Plant a seed to honor this goddess of creation. Name your seedling after an attribute you admire and want to cultivate in yourself. For Example, I named mine Creativity.

As you nurture your seedling focus on seeing that attribute expressed in yourself. Allow Mawu’s energy to speak to you.

Call on Mawu when you need help with a creative project.

Author Ame Vanorio is a lifelong pagan of Italian and Cree heritage. She is an environmental educator and licensed wildlife rehabilitator.