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Robson
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afrocentrists will get crazy seeing Nikolaj Coster-Waldau playing Horus, for example.
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karnsculpture
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It gets really crazy on the pop culture forums over the issue of casting Ancient Egyptians, for example a number of years ago there was an Amarna era film in pre-production starring Halle Berry as Nefertiti; the reaction on forums was vicious.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem is with the mentality that see the reality only in terms of Black of White. There are no many intermediary types (Middle-Eastern, Latinos, South Pacific, South Asian) in the Hollywood mainstream to cast for such a production. These people are usually cast to play stereotyped villains and comic relief sidekicks. Besides, the studios are usually attached to contractual commitments and market interests to hire such and such actors.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I meant "Black OR White".
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Meritamon
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who would you cast as Egyptian deities then?
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, particularly, it has no difference at all. It is a phantasy movie. It has no need of historic accuracy.
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Meritamon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose if one is a deity, one could change their skin tone as desired.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meritamon wrote:
I suppose if one is a deity, one could change their skin tone as desired.


FWIW, ancient Egyptian deities had a "known" skin tone according to Egyptian myth: their skin was that of gold, with hair of lapis lazuli (dark blue - almost black) (Wilkinson 1994: 114).

Reference:

Wilkinson, R. H. 1994. Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art. London: Thames and Hudson.

HTH.
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karnsculpture
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Problem solved! Paint everyone gold!

Paul
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neseret
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

karnsculpture wrote:
Problem solved! Paint everyone gold!


And why not? Certainly would end all this rigmarole over who to cast in what role and/or worry about the tone of who had been cast, IMO.
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Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, black, blue, green and red are available depending on the need or place, at least for some (?) gods, available?

Greetings, Lutz.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
FWIW, ancient Egyptian deities had a "known" skin tone according to Egyptian myth: their skin was that of gold, with hair of lapis lazuli (dark blue - almost black) (Wilkinson 1994: 114).

Reference:

Wilkinson, R. H. 1994. Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art. London: Thames and Hudson. HTH.

I already knew the information bone = silver, meat = gold and hair = lapis lazuli. Especially skin = gold was not known to me...

Greetings, Lutz.
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Meritamon
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
Meritamon wrote:
I suppose if one is a deity, one could change their skin tone as desired.


FWIW, ancient Egyptian deities had a "known" skin tone according to Egyptian myth: their skin was that of gold, with hair of lapis lazuli (dark blue - almost black) (Wilkinson 1994: 114).

Reference:

Wilkinson, R. H. 1994. Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art. London: Thames and Hudson.

HTH.


Really? I didn't know that. Yeah, paint everyone gold.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
Well, black, blue, green and red are available depending on the need or place, at least for some (?) gods, available?


That's an interesting question: Wilkinson notes that in general gods are described as "gold-skinned" with lapis-lazuli hair, etc.

However, in art, they are also coloured as to function - so celestial deities (such as Amun) are often coloured blue (also Heh, Nun, and Kek (god of darkness)). Blue was also used for Ptah, Re-Horkahty, Khnum, and at times, Horus (Wilkinson 1994: 114). Meanwhile, vegetation deities (such as Osiris) are coloured either green or black(particularly if in chthonic mode), and Sutekh (Seth) the desert deity, is often portrayed as red-skinned and red-haired.

Nut is usually shown with a golden body, studded with blue (or black) stars, while her husband Geb (the Earth) is sometimes portrayed as with a sand-coloured or red body, but could also be given a black skinned body, denoting fertility and vegetation. Chthonic deities sometimes have black skin, or green skin, and at times, represented with golden skin.

Wilkinson notes that the skin colour of the god Amun changed over time. During his earliest representations, Amun was portrayed with a red-skin tone, as would most Egyptian males. However, by the time of Thutmose III, blue (or blue-black) skin toned Amun figures began to appear. After the Amana heresy ended, both red and blue skin-tones for the deity were used, and as there is no differing title to the deity in relation to the differing toned, this argues against the idea that skin tone related to a certain facet of the deity, as opposed to another. However, by the end of the 19th Dynasty, the blue-skinned d form of Amun became the sole form used (Wilkinson 1994: 114).

The colours assigned to deities then were of a symbolic nature, based upon their classification or function. Yet these colours could be interchanged as well, as Wilkinson notes in representations of Ramses III in pHarris, in which he show portrayed as wearing a yellow "White Crown" of the south, while appearing with white skin, rather than either red (if the king was alive) or gold (were he deceased). As Wilkinson (1994: 121) notes:

The two colors are used in this way because of their essential equivalence [to the Egyptian artist, as to symbolism]. For the same reason, the White Crown is painted yellow in a number of other representations, though the use of white skin coloration is less common.

Wilkinson lists the following symbolic meanings of colour in the Egyptian palette, referring to a photograph of coloured amulets on p. 117:

RED The color of fire, the sun, and blood, red could symbolize any of these, or the more abstract concepts of life and destruction associated with those physical things. Of the amulets shown here, red was chosen for the heart (/ib/) (third row) and the solar-symbolizing scarab (fifth row).

BLUE This color was naturally associated with both the heavens and with water. Relating ultimately to its symbolism of water, blue could represent the concept of fertility, and was associated with Osiris. the amulet of this god (fourth row) and his symbol, the djed pillar [/Dd/] (first row), are of this color.

YELLOW An alternative solar color, yell could be used for solar symbols such as the scarab (second row) and winged scarab (bottom row), as well as certain other symbols such as the Isis know [/Tyt/] (sixth row). Yellow could also represent the golden bodies of the gods.

BLACK Primarily a color of the underworld and funerary deities, black is here represented by two amulets of the mortuary god Anubis in his canine form (second row). Also symbolic of fertility through its association with the rich dark earth of the Nile valley, black could also be used in non-funerary contexts.

GREEN The color of luxuriant vegetation and thus of life itself, green could signify health and vitality, and the sound or undamaged eye of Horus is often depicted in this color. Green was also specifically used in association with certain symbolically significant creatures such as the serpent (both ends of he second row) and baboon (fourth and sixth rows).

WHITE The color of purity, white was used to represent a number of sacred animals such as the white cow (fourth row). As a solar hue, this color could also be used as an alternative to yellow in some contexts, and the White Crown was one of the heraldic emblems of Southern Egypt in contrast to the Red Crown of the North.

There is also a good deal of interchange in the use of some of these colors - a phenomenon which is considered more fully, above. (Wilkinson 1994: 116)

Reference:

Wilkinson, R. H. 1994. Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art. London: Thames and Hudson.

HTH.
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Katherine Griffis-Greenberg

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Oriental Institute
Oriental Studies
Doctoral Programme [Egyptology]
Oxford University
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