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Nancy Morejón and her lyrics dedicated to Yemayá, Mother Water

Yemayá by Nancy Morejón

"His maritime feet,

At last,

Logs of salt,

Snow's perpetual feet,

Raised like moons

For Yemayá. "

Water as a divinity has been used by many religions and is considered a sacred element with great powers.

And the Cuban poet Nancy Morejón highlights the importance of this element as a natural power of the Afro-Cuban religion in a great variety of her poetic works.

In the Yoruba religion, water is represented by the protective mother Orisha and to her, the poet dedicated numerous verses, combining in the same objective the beauty of feminine consecration in the words in verse, the representation of the true Cuban identity and the diffusion of the treasure that is the Afro-Cuban culture. 

Within the tradition of the Rule of Ocha In Cuba, the orisha mother of humanity and queen of the waters is Yemaya, syncretized with La Virgen de Regla y Morejón, represented her as the holy protector of her faithful, a powerful warrior and Cuban by syncretism.

About her Morejón expressed that Yemayá is the Universal Queen because she is the Water, the salty and the sweet, the Sea, the Mother of everything created.

Yemayá and the “Praise of Nieves Fresneda”

Here, the poet Nancy Morejón celebrates art and dedicates a poem to the renowned dancer and singer Nieves Fresneda, considered the best "Yemayá" that Cuba has had.

Of Fresneda, Nancy has said that "her dance for Yemayá was a prodigy."

A poetic text full of mysticism, religion and Afro-Cuban identity, called "Praise of Nieves Fresneda":

   Like a flying fish: Nieves Fresneda.

   Sea waves, galley slaves, blue

   seaweed petals cover their days

   and its hours, reborn to its


   A rumor from Benin

   brought her to the bottom of this earth.

   There are your

   snakes, their

   circles, their

   cowries, their skirts,

   his feet,

   looking for the bush, opening

   unknown routes to


   Its maritime feet, at


   logs of salt, perpetual feet of

   Snows, raised like moons to


   And in space


   between the foam,


   spinning over the sea,


   through the song

   immemorial of the dream,


   in the seas of Cuba,


Undoubtedly a magical poem, where love is expressed towards the orishas of the Yoruba pantheon, deities of the seas such as Yemayá and Olokun, as well as in his poetry called "The eyes of Elegguá" where he celebrates and characterizes the owner of the paths of the Osha. Poems that waste spirituality.

These are some of the main examples of his poetic work related to African worship and traditions, where the element of African origin is decisive:

  • "The dead"
  • "Elegguá's eyes"
  • "Black Woman"

About Santeria, Nancy commented in an interview ...

“… Cuban Santeria is part of the religious phenomenon of the Caribbean and America. A phenomenon that entails in itself a whole magical system in whose axis we find pre-logical values ​​and a supply of components irreversibly marked by the cultural mixture.

It has characteristics that resemble it with Haitian voodoo and Brazilian candomblé. These three slopes form the most powerful basin of religious phenomena of this nature in the entire continent.

These three complexes present within them a common denominator that is the Yoruba mythology, a determining ethnic group, originally from the West African coast, especially from what is now Nigeria.

In Cuba, we popularly know this term as the Lucumí pantheon, which is nothing other than the way the people named the manifestations of Yoruba origin. The gods of that pantheon are called santos in Cuba. Lately there are contributions in relation to them because they are also known as orishas.

Elegguá, Yemayá and Changó are guardian figures of my poems because they are also figures of the Cuban popular imagination…”

Nancy Morejón and Afro-Cuban relics

Nancy Morejón is a poet, essayist, journalist, literary and theater critic, and translator. His works include research that made extensive contributions to the dissemination of Afro-Cuban culture.

He has published essays and texts on the intangible heritage of Afro-Cubans, paying special attention to the work of our National Poet, Nicolás Guillén. She also served as Advisor to Casa de las Américas, and as President of the Writers Association of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC).

Likewise, he has translated works by Caribbean intellectuals such as Jacques Roumain, René Depestre and Edouard Glissant, the concept of the Caribbean is cultural, not geographical.

In 1991 a selection of his poems appeared in Paris with the title of Le Chainon Poetique and that same year Ediciones Unión published his notebook Baladas para un Sueño, all dedicated to enhancing the role of Creole identity roots in Cuban culture.

He also published the book Célebre Landscape and the poetry book of Love and Death. In fact, the Oliphante publishing house, from Zaragoza, compiled an anthology of his poetic work under the title of Botella de Mar.

Morejón has lectured at several California Universities, La State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) Pomona; The California State University Institute for International Studies, in San Bernardino; the California State University Center for Latin American Studies in Los Angeles.

It was also she who expressed the closing words of the colloquium "Through her mirror" on the poetry of Eliseo Diego, sponsored by the Institute of Literature and Linguistics of Havana and gave the conference "Guillén goes with music" in the course Cuban Popular Music from Ernesto Lecuona to Juan Formell.

Other of his most important works that are a gift to Cuban and world culture are:

  • Mutisms
  • Love, attributed city
  • Richard brought his flute and other arguments
  • Places of an era
  • Poems (Anthology)
  • October essential
  • In praise of dance
  • Granada notebook
  • Where the Island Sleeps Like a Wing (Bilingual Anthology)
  • Poems (Anthology)
  • Polished stone
  • Ours the Earth (Anthology)
  • Ballads for a dream
  • Poems of love and death
  • Famous landscape
  • Le Chainon Poetique
  • The river by Martín Pérez (Anthology)
  • Bottle to the sea (Anthology)
  • Praise and scenery
  • Richard brought his flute and other poems
  • The fifth of the mills
  • Ruhmreiche Landschaft (Famous Landscape)
  • Black Woman and Other Poems (Bilingual edition)
  • Fast rope
  • Looking Within
  • Nancy Morejon. Poetic anthology

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