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AYIDA-WEDDO 

The Rainbow/Cosmic Serpent 
Fon, Benin 

Acrylic on canvas, 2021 

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The Fon people of Benin and surrounding areas have a belief in Ayida-Weddo, the Rainbow Serpent/Cosmic Serpent.

Like other creation deities Ayida-Weddo existed before the creation of the Earth and was charged with faring the creation God, Mawu-Lisa, carrying her in their mouth across the universe. Ayida-Weddo is both masculine (depicted in red) and feminine (blue).

As Mawu-Lisa traversed the Earth with Ayida-Weddo, she created all manner of life and the physical movements of the serpent craved out the mountains, tectonic plates and the terrain. The natural bodily waste of the serpent is what we have to thank for minerals, jewels, precious stones etc.

Once Mawu-Lisa was done with the creation of life on the plate she charged Ayida-Weddo with one last task: to coil themselves around our blue planet and hold it in place. The Cosmic Serpent rotates in place around the Earth creating cosmic movements, solar and lunar cycles and holds itself in place by swallowing its own tail.