Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Beautiful

The word beautiful in Egyptian is “nefer”.  When I reference the Netjeru in my mind, or when I see them in my Shrine or about my house, I often find my self thinking or addressing them as / with “Beautiful”.
 

I am a Libran, and to us born of the scales beauty is a bit of a “theme”. And whilst superficial beauty is a preoccupation of mine as much as anyone else’s I guess, the deep beauty – the inexplicable “something” that defines a beautiful object or person beyond how they look - is a greater preoccupation.


I often see beauty in people that may otherwise be considered unattractive. I can sometimes see beauty in things traditionally considered ugly or not appealing.


It is the deep, indescribable beauty that I refer to in this post.


The hieroglyph for Nefer is this:




It is a trachea and heart. I think the Egyptians were saying beauty comes from within. What people express (via the trachea which carries our voice, a primary means of expression) of their nature (what is in the heart) defines the timbre of that beauty.


Below are some images of the Netjeru and Kemetic objects that make me think “Beautiful” when I gaze upon them:


My pendant of Lord Set - I wear Him and He sits on my altar too



A colossal statue of Lord Anpu that graced the main train station in Melbourne last year when used to promote the Tutankhamun exhibition

An early version of my Shrine; this collection of Netjeru is indeed beautiful





This beautiful statue of Lady Aset is a recent addition to my Shrine and even more special as Aunty Sue bought it for me when we went to the Tutankhamun exhibition together


The work of artist Jeff Cullen is breathtaking; his interpretations of Kemetic deities are in line with my mission of "re-introducing" Kemet to the world; check out the majesty of Lord Heru


My first introduction to Jeff's work was this sculpture of Beautiful Set; it earned the artist the first of what I expect will be a series of commissions from me


This bronze statue of Beautiful Lady Sekhmet from Dynasty 26 is not as artistically beautiful as the one from my Shrine above; however: I do believe that part of the Lady Herself is still present in this object; I saw it at a local gallery a couple of weeks ago here in Melbourne
  
This coffin of King Shoshenq II fascinates and intrigues me almost more than any other Kemetic object; it was my dream to see this coffin for real, which was realised in 2010 when I visited the Cairo Museum


All 3 coffins of King Tutankhamun are beautiful beyond words; I remember remarking on the outermost coffin for a school presentation in Grade 9 at school "Isn't it beautiful?", which earnt me much further derision I assure you (I was a very gay kid); I did not see that coffin when I visited Cairo as it remains in the tomb of the King in Luxor



I took this photo of the Divine triad of Lord Ptah, Lady Sekhmet and King Ramesses II in the courtyard of the Cairo Museum in November 2010
  


King Shoshenq's bracelets

Image of Lord Sokar from the grounds of the Cairo Museum; I was surrounded by so much amazing stuff when I was in Cairo that it is a wonder I didn't wee myself; a truly magickal time




4 comments:

  1. "Nefer" as the typical long neck lute makes a lot more sense to me. There's a tailpiece and bridge on the body, and two tuning pegs at the top. In some of the glyphs, frets appear on the neck.

    If they were thinking 'heart' it would have looked a lot more like an Ib. There are also trad. instruments in Africa that look just like the Nefer glyph.

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  2. Good point, although I do recall seeing a rich version of the glyph that did seem to suggest an "ib" base and the neck looked . . . internal organ like. I think it was from one of the highly decorated tombs or temples where all the colour has been preserved (I tried googling for this just now but all the images are too small, such as in Nefertari's name etc.)

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  3. Richard Wilkinson in _Reading Egyptian Art_ explains that the glyph is "a composite of the heart and trachea", as from the earliest times it followed the shape of a sheep's heart. Maybe they made the lute to resemble this???

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