Janaina – Queen of the Sea

Janaina is a beautiful Brazilian mermaid. She is not a killer mermaid but a benevolent one who protects people who fish, as well as travelers on the sea. She responds to petitions from the person in need as well as from others on their behalf. (So if you’re worried about someone on a boat, you can invoke Janaina’s aid from dry land.)

Janaina is often identified with Iemanja, and their names may be used interchangeably but they are not exactly the same. Iemanja manifests in different forms; Janaina is consistently a mermaid. The name Janaina may be used to describe Iemanja when she manifests in mermaid form but not necessarily in other forms. Although the two spirits are now deeply intertwined, they were initially two distinct spirits, with Janaina an indigenous Brazilian mermaid. She is often evoked in songs of Capoeira (Afro-Brazilian dance/martial art/spiritual tradition).

Also known as:

Dona Janaina (literally Lady Janaina)






A beautiful, bejeweled mermaid with long hair and a blue fish tail


Usually as a mermaid; her name is sometimes attached to the image of the Stella Maris, which depicts a woman rising from the sea.




Flowers (place them on an altar or on the shore; toss them nicely into the sea); combs; mirrors; gifts evoking the sea

See Also:

  • Dandalunda
  • Mermaid
  • Stella Maris
  • Yemaya


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.

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