The old and wise matriarch of the Sangerye family, Ma Etta Sangerye is a master potions expert and learned the ways of curing the Jinoo during her younger years in the Underworld.
Despite her extensive knowledge and wise ways, Ma Etta often comes into conflict with Blink Sangerye, believing that women should be mastering herbs and potions whilst the men fight the Jinoo.
Whilst Ma Etta is the matriarch of the Sangerye family, this does not come easy. Often, she finds herself clashing with her family members. When Cullen is told that he must embrace the ways of the Sangerye's and cure the Jinoo with the Fiif'no Serum, he has trouble facing his fears and injecting the Jinoo with the serum. Blink tells Ma Etta that she must go help him as he is not cut out for this work, but Ma Etta rebukes her, citing that a woman's role is in the kitchen brewing roots and Fiif'no serum. Nonetheless, tensions arise when Blink disobeys Ma Etta and helps cure the Jinoo anyway.
Further complexities arise when Berg falls victim to Miss Knightsdale and is infected by her during a battle. Berg tells Ma Etta that she must be prepared to kill him to stop the spread of the infection should the need arise. Ma Etta tells him that she will do what she can to save him, but reminds him that she is a skilled fighter in her own right and can hold her own against him.
Nora and Cullen's return
After months of fighting the Jinoo and later Inzondo, Ma Etta is skeptical and cautious when Nora and Cullen Sangerye return from Barzakh. She feels as though Cullen has been changed and therefore watches Nora carefully. When it becomes clear that Nora hasn't been affected by her time in Barzakh, she talks with Nora about Cullen.
Nora agrees with Ma Etta that Cullen seems different since his return, but the two agree that they have bigger things on their mind.
Handing over reign
The situation in Harlem gradually gets worse and the Sangerye family are overrun with Inzondo and Jinoo. As a result, Ma Etta believes that she has failed in her duties as the head of the Sangerye family. She drinks a potion, and is transported to another dimension in which she talks with her late husband. He tells her that she must return to Harlem but she is reluctant to return without information that could help them fight the Inzondo.
Ma Etta's efforts prove futile, however, and she is unable to gather any information that would aid her in the fight against the evils of Barzakh. As a result, she feels herself a failure and believes it is her time to step down as the head of the Sangerye family.
Not long after her encounter with the other dimension, Ma Etta tells Blink that she is to be the new head of the Sangerye family. Blink believes herself not worthy, but Ma Etta tells her she has what it takes to succeed.
Despite giving up her position as head of the household, Ma Etta continued to teach the children of Harlem about the danger they faced from the Jinoo and Inzondo. She eventually discovers that the Kantoo have some kind of effect on the monstrous trees ravaging Harlem and is able to come up with a plan — alongside Doctor Sylvester — to fight the Jinoo and Inzondo by making peace.