Mami Wata (Mammy Water) is used in this context to represent both genders of the popular water entity (i.e. Mami and Papi Watas). These beings are creatures of the sea, yet very much corporeal and fully human in appearance, and does not possess the permanent Piscean/sea life lower extremities associated with their cousin mer-creatures. According to Chikodili Emelumadu (2019), an award-winning Nigerian writer and researcher, these are some of the best ways to identify them:
1) Fascination for mirrors/reflective surfaces: Mami Watas possess an irresistibly beautiful appearance and tends to stare at their own attractive physique in mirrors or any other reflective surfaces like pool of water, glass, tumbler, spectacles. Sometimes when they fix their gaze at you, you would think they are drooling all over you. But the sad truth is, they are probably looking at their own reflection in your eyes. This is the greatest sign.
2) Aversion to fish and sea-foods: Mami Watas seldom feed on their fellow sea kin like fish or other sea-foods. Some of them try to hide this aversion under the guise of being “animal rights activists” or “vegetarians.” Does this remind you of someone?
3) Allergic reactions to seafood consumption: On accidental consumption of seafood, a Mami Wata can manifest all/some of the following symptoms such as itching mouth, eyes and throat, skin rashes or hives, vomiting, stomach cramps, swollen body parts, rolling of eyes and/or a high-pitched sharp scream.
4) Skimpy dresses: Mami Watas despite their cute appearance have a proclivity for skimpy clothing that reveal their fine bodily features as a way of accentuating their beauty. Watch out for this.
5) Shimmering teeth made of nacre: Mami Watas possess shimmering (white, light pink or even a pale blue or green) teeth made of nacre----the crystalline substance which lends the insides of some shells their lustrous appearance.
6) Skin: The skin of Mami Watas tend to be smooth with a plastic-sheen texture bereft of pores or hairs unlike in humans.
7) Water consumption: The Mami creature tend to consume abnormally large quantity of water and tend to overheat when they spend long periods on land without water.
8) Submersion: When submerged or drenched in water, the Mami creature appear stunning in a way that is out of this world, their hair perfectly falling back into place in a way that seem unnatural. They could remain underwater for long period of time without manifesting goose pimples, greying or matting qualities as commonly observed with humans.
9) Photographic image: Mami Watas possess radiantly beautiful photographic image with the phosphorescence of sea creatures. They know how to flawlessly adjust to camera to strike the most fantastic of poses with resultant snapshots been breathtakingly well balanced in perspective and composition.
10) Inappropriate jewelries: Mami Watas have an inclination for heavy or inappropriate jewelries like toes rings, ankle chains, belly rings, studs in arms or lower back, and too many or conspicuously large rings on the ear. Look out for those with any jewellery which a normal Nigerian would not wear.
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