Mama D’lo

Mama D’lo is a mythical character of Caribbean folklore. You mainly hear about her in Trinidad and Dominica. Her name comes from Mama D’leau which loosely translates to “mother of water” in French. The word Mama is pronounced just as it sounds. D’lo (or D’Leau) is a bit trickier. It rhymes with glow but with a ‘d’ at the beginning instead of a ‘g.’ Some people actually call her Mama Glow. (Image by Lorena Soriano from The Protectors’ Pledge)

She is described as a beautiful woman with long hair. She is human from the waist up and she owns a golden comb which she uses to comb her long hair. From the waist down, she has the body of a green anaconda, a large and dangerous snake. She lives in rivers deep within forests and hides this part of her body under water.

Like her husband, Papa Bois, she protects the animals in her care, namely the animals that live in the water. She protects them from humans who poach, who pollute the water, and who needlessly kill animals. Unlike her husband, she protects the animals under her care by luring hunters with her beautiful face and her singing, then capturing and sometimes killing them with the strength of her anaconda tail.

Mama D’lo appears in many Caribbean stories including The Protectors’ Pledge and The Whisperer’s Warning both by Danielle Y. C. McLean published by CaribbeanReads.