The Woyingi Blog

About Woyingi

According to the Ijaw Dictionary Project, “Woyingi” means “Almighty creator of the universe.” The word comes out of “WO + YINGI” meaning “OUR – MOTHER”.

It appears that the Ijaw, a indigenous minority ethnic group from Southern Nigeria to which my father belongs, often give their children names with one of the names of the supreme deity in it.

Take for example the British Ijaw Masseur Woyingi-Kuro Agugu. Woyingi-Kuro means Great God’s Power that Dominates.

The middle name I was given by my father at birth was Tamara-Emi. Only when I found my father would I learn what Tamara-Emi meant.

My father’s Ijaw name is  Tamara-Sinlame.

Tamara is another name for Woyingi. Tamara means quite simply “Creator” in Ijaw.

Tamara-Emi means “God exists” or “God is Great”.  Tamara-Sinlame means “God is to be praised”.

Assain Esseru describes Woyingi as follows:

WOYINGI-TAMARA (ORU-YINGI, TAMARA, TEMARA, TAMUNO, NANARA, SUO-ARA, OLOMA, MUTU). The highest manifestation of the Supreme Being, but this is the female attributes of the Supreme Being. From WO + YINGI meaning OUR – MOTHER. The other terms mean  MOTHER OF THE GODS, THE CREATOR (FEMALE), SHE WHO OWNS US, WOMAN OF THE SKY. The symbol of BLACK EARTH (MUD) or a BLACK EGG, represents MUTU the DIVINE WOMB, the source of all things. Those who understand the properties of the colour black in physics will understand that it represents the perfect black body, the source of all energy and can absorb all energy (radiation), which is to say OUT OF BLACK COMES ALL OTHER COLOURS, OUT OF BLACK COMES ALL!! OUT OF THE DIVINE WOMB BRINGS FORTH ALL!! The process of creation is the process of circumscribing or bounding A PORTION OF THE ESSENTAIL NATURE OF THE SUPREME BEING….

The main lesson to learn from this is that DARKNESS OR TOTAL BLACKNESS IS THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF THE SUPREME BEING, and it is from DARKNESS that LIGHT emerges. This has implication for those who equate evil with darkness or blackness. ALL FORCES BELONG TO THE SUPREME BEING, it is how a force is utilised that makes it good or evil!! (ponder).

According to Nigerian scholar of the Niger Delta E. J. Alagoa in his essay God is Mother: A Historical Review of Women in the Development of Niger Delta Communities:

To the Ijo, God is not merely Creator but Procreator. The divine power to bring life into being is understood in the light of the function of women to replenish the earth. Accordingly, among many Central Delta and Western Delta Ijo, God was simply Woyengi, Our Mother. Among the Ijo groups of the Eastern Niger Delta, God was referred to in the feminine gender, as She, before the ascendency of the Western Christian idea of God the father, or “Our Father who art in Heaven.”

6 Responses

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  1. izimbali said, on November 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Just discovered your blog, will subscribe and read.

  2. Lango Deen said, on March 18, 2011 at 10:06 pm


  3. H. Bourne said, on November 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Your article about the rejection of the Nigerian art tradition by a leading Nigerian artist has a certain parallel in Ireland. When in the later 19th c., the treasures of the ancient Celts of Ireland were being rediscovered, the Professor at Trinity College in Dublin point-blankly refused to believe they were of Irish origin (shades of the Nigerian bronzes & their not being Nigerian because they were too naturalistic)

  4. Eyerus said, on November 13, 2012 at 7:04 pm


  5. K.Renee said, on May 23, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    The explanation given by Nigerian scholar of the Niger Delta, E. J. Alagoa, was extremely enlightening and affirming in many ways. As one who subscribes to the “Western Christian idea” of using “God, The Father,” I’ve never considered relating to God in this way, or seeing Him as the Procreator and functioning similarly as women do in replenishing and procreating. It’s really quite beautiful and empowering.
    This is my first time visiting this website, and it’s so rich with information. It is now bookmarked in my favorites. Thank you for your research and commitment to the work.

  6. sfqu said, on September 8, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Congratulations¡ your blog is amazing and it´s an incredible good work. I recommended everytime in my blog. Thanks

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