Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Tattooed Priestess’ of Hathor

She was known as the mother of god and the daughter of god, the eye of god, the creatrix of the rays of the sun, the embodiment of the circular essence of life. She was the Lady of the Limit or the one who spreads to the edge of the universe and the Lady of the West who welcomed souls to the afterlife. She was the goddess of fertility and assisted women in childbirth. She was Hathor the Celestial Cow whose legs formed the pillars of the sky and the Milky Way ran across her belly.
It is this trend towards the marginalization of women within the temple that leads us all the way to the late 19th century when several tattooed female mummies were discovered. Before this discovery only pictures in tombs and on pottery were the best evidence that some Egyptians were tattooed. Previously tiny faience female figurines showing tattoo patterns on their thighs, wrists, abdomen, and upper body had been discovered in tombs and the tattoos on the newly discovered mummies were in many instances almost identical to the figurines.  Suddenly it became obvious that the tiny figurines were actually depicting real tattoos and their meanings could be directly traced to the priestess’ of Hathor.

1 comment:

Seleen Johnson said...

This article was very informative and interesting. It is also ironic that most christian religious institutions frown upon tattoos and have created negative stigmas towards tattooing of the body. These negative stigmas also trickle into the work place and has been socially constructed as negative. It surprised me to see that in the past, religious women actually tattooed their bodies and it was acceptable.