2013/03/19

Anuket goddess

Anukis   (also  anqet, anuket)  Important in the Old Kingdom, Anukis is a water goddess from the south. Her title, “she who embraces,” reflects her association with the Nile. Anukis was worshipped in southern Egypt and Nubia and was honored with an important cult center at Aswan.

Anuket goddess 


She was said to be a daughter of Re, the sun god, but Anukis’s most important role was her position in the Elephantine Triad. She was the wife of Khnum, the ram-headed god who created mankind on the potter’s wheel. Egyptian triads traditionally have a father, mother, and son, but curiously, Anukis’s child was daughter Satis, guardian of Egypt’s southern frontier. In some versions of the myth, Satis is said to be the consort, or wife, of Khnum.

One of Anukis’s titles was “Goddess of the Cataracts [rapids] of the Southern Nile,” and her temples were at Sehel Island (south of Aswan) and Elephantine Island (Abu Island). Although her name means “to embrace,” Anukis, like many Egyptian goddesses, has a dual nature—both sweet and fierce. It was said that her embrace could also become a chokehold. As “Goddess of the Hunt,” her sacred animal is the gazelle.

An ostracon (piece of broken pot- tery) shows Anukis as a gazelle and gives her titles such as “Mistress of the Gods” and “Lady of Heaven.” Most often Anukis is portrayed as a woman holding a papyrus scepter and an ankh and wearing a tall headdress made of ostrich feathers or reeds. Because of her popularity in the south, she was known as “Mistress of Nubia.”