Ndanda Lunda literally means “Lady of the Lunda.” (The Lunda are a Bantu-speaking ethnic group now resident in Angola, Congo, and Zambia.) A spirit of water, the moon, love, beauty, childbirth, and fertility, she is sometimes classified as a Simbi spirit.
Ndanda Lunda traveled to Brazil with enslaved devotees where her name evolved into Dandalunda. She is venerated among the Bantu paths of Candomblé. Candomblé, however, is dominated by Yoruba traditions, and so Dandalunda is often identified with orixas, especially sea spirit Iemanja (Yemaya). She has lost her distinct identity somewhat; Dandalunda is sometimes described as just another name for Iemanja, and many use the name Dandalunda to refer to Iemanja. In Africa, Ndanda Lunda was associated with all kinds of water, fresh as well as salt, and hence she is sometimes identified with the freshwater orixa Oxum, too.
The 2001 hit song “Dandalunda” by Brazilian singer Margareth Menezes has become the unofficial anthem of Carnival in Salvador de Bahia, home of Candomblé.
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Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.