Atabey (goddess)

Atabey is the supreme goddess of the Taínos (native peoples at the pre-Columbian era), one of two supreme deities in the Taíno religion. She was worshipped as a goddess of fresh water and fertility;[1] she is the female entity who represents the Earth Spirit and the Spirit of all horizontal water, lakes, streams, the sea, and the marine tides.[2] This deity was one of the most important for the native tribes that inhabited the Caribbean islands of the Antilles, mostly in Puerto Rico (Borikén), Hispaniola, and Cuba.[3]

Goddess of earth, fresh water and fertility
Atabey pretroglyph Illustration.png
Reproduction of petroglyph depicting Atabey
AbodeThe heavens
SymbolDepicted as a nude woman, anthropomorphic representation of Mother Earth
Personal information
ChildrenYúcahu and Guacar (twins), Guabancex/Juracán

Atabey or Atabeira defines prime matter and all that is tangible or material and has several manifestations. One is the aforementioned nurturing maternal figure. Another is Caguana: the spirit of love. The last is Guabancex (also known as Gua Ban Ceh): the violent, Wild Mother of storms, volcanoes, and earthquakes.

Alternate names for the Taíno mother goddess are Iermaoakar, Apito, and Sumaiko and Taíno women prayed to Atabey to ensure a safe childbirth.[4]


Atabey conceived twin sons without intercourse. The most commonly known is Yúcahu because he is the principal Taíno god who rules over the fertility of Yuca (cassava).


  1. ^ Rouse, Irving (1993). The Tainos: Rise and Decline of the People Who Greeted Columbus (New ed.). New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0300056969.
  2. ^ Lamarche, Sebastian Robiou (1992). Encuentros con la Mitologia Taina. University of Texas: Editorial Punto y Coma.
  3. ^ Monaghan, Patricia. "Atabey". Llewellyn. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  4. ^ Arrom, Jose J. (1989). Mitologia y artes prehispanicas de las Antillas. Mexico City: Siglo Veintiuno Editores.