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Damballah Wedo and His Consort Ayida Wedo by Rigaud Benoit, Oil on Masonite (ca.1967)

Damballa, also spelled Damballah, is the snake lwa of the sky. He is the primoridal spirit and the father of all the lwa. Within the African Traditional Religion of Voodoo, Vudu, Vodoun, or Vodun, Damballa is often depicted entwined with his consort, Ayida Wedo, also a snake lwa. He rules over serenity and peace in human beings and cosmic balance and harmony in the universe.

Damballa is of the Rada nation and when he manifests during Voodoo ceremonies he does not talk, but rather hisses. He can take on a very protective role over his children and is called upon to offer protection, clarity of mind, and harmony. He loves the colour white, coconut milk, an egg placed on flour, and honey. He does not take cigars or tobacco as his offerings and all such offerings are held until after he is saluted.

In Catholic syncretic Voodoo practices, Damballa is associated with the image of Saint Patrick who drove out snakes from Ireland. Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who are adherents of the Voodoo Religion and who petition the lwa on behalf of clients may work with Damballa for protection, fertility, and serenity.

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