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WHAT DOES THE VULTURE REPRESENT??
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Claire
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: WHAT DOES THE VULTURE REPRESENT?? Reply with quote

I KNOW THE URAEUS WAS SYMBOLIC AS BEING ABLE TO RISE UP AND SPIT VENOM AT THE WEARERS ENEMY .. BUT WHAT PURPOSE DID THE VULTURE HAVE? QUEENS SUCH AS NEFERTARI ARE DEPICTED AS WEARING THEM AND IVE BEEN WONDERING IF IT HOLDS SOME SORT OF SYMBOLIC SIGNIFACANCE LIKE THE URAEUS DOES Confused
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The vulture was the symbol of the goddess Nekhbet, who was the protector of Upper Egypt.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Confused i just dont get the whole vulture concept
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the vulture was the symbol for "mother". in ancient egyptian, the hyeroglyph with the vulture was the ideogram of mother and was said "mut". so, the theban goddess Mut was "The Mother". wave
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found this on the 'net:
Mut from Thebes in Upper Egypt was the wife of the god Amon(-Re). Her fame started during the New Kingdom and her name Mut simply meant - mother. The mythology about her moved to Heliopolis where she was said once to had changed from a goddess of the sky, into a cow. In Thebes she ha a temple and though she had no special domain to protect in daily life, her popularity was constant as wife to the state god Amon. She had adopted the ram-god Khons and became a member of the high ranked sacred triad of Thebes. She was seen wearing the double crown on her head with a hair ornament like a lying golden vulture (picture left) and sometimes she had a vulture's head.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the ancient Egyptian spelling for mwt (Mut):



I have to agree that some of the symbolism and cultural icons from ancient Egypt can be confusing to many of us. It's hard to understand how the Egyptians came to equate the vulture with a protective mother.

And yet what the others have posted here is correct. Nekhbet (the vulture) came to symbolize Upper Egypt just as Wadjyt (the cobra) came to represent Lower Egypt, which is why numerous pharaohs wore both the vulture and cobra on their headgear--to symbolize the unity of the Two Lands. And it's also why the vulture with its drooping wings came to be a proper form of headdress for the great wife (i.e., queen)--to symbolize her connection as protector with the goddess Nekhbet (though wealthy women of common rank would later have the heads of their anthropoid coffins "outfitted" with the same sort of headpiece).

The ancient Egyptians were a people of their environment, of their natural world. Their gods and goddesses took on the forms of the animals and creatures that were familiar to them. This much is easy to understand, but it may not always be so clear to us exactly how the ancients themselves perceived and understood their natural world. Wink
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But the vulture on the Queen's vuture headdress is Nekhbet, not Mut right?

Isn't Nekhbet a protective goddess from Nekhen? So from Southern Egypt?
Nekhen is a very old site. Any idea when Nekhbet developed into a protective deity? I get the impression that she is rather old. I think Mut may have been a relatively newer goddess. As wife of Amun she became prominent only after the beginning of the 18th dynasty right?

I think the vulture headdress is older than that?
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you're right, Nekhbet and Mut are entirely different goddesses but both protective in nature. Nekhbet is on the headdress and I didn't make myself clear. I was trying to confuse everyone. Very Happy

Mut didn't start her rise to prominence until sometime during the Middle Kingdom, same as her consort Amun, but like Wadjyt, Nekhbet is far older. She probably was a goddess dating to predynastic times, though I'm not familiar with the Nekhen connection myself.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

queens had a vulture upon their head because they were, if I can say, the mothers of the people, the Great Mother. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Barbara Watterson describes the headdress as associating the queen with Mut, and only secondarily with Nekhbet.

She also has an explanation for the choice of vulture as a mother figure. She says that it comes from the "universal symbolism" of the mother bird spreading her wings protectively over her chicks. The vulture in particular was chosen because it has the longest wingspan among Egyptian birds.

According to Watterson, Mut and Nekhbet are different species of vulture. Mut is the Griffin Vulture, gyps fulvus; Nekhbet is the Sociable Vulture, vultur auricularis.

Nekhbet means "she of Nekheb", which is El-Kab on the opposite side of the river to Nekhen. Like Nekhen (Hierokonpolis), El-Kab is a very ancient site. Nekhbet, with her northern counterpart Wadjet, are the two ladies referred to in the pharaoh's nbty name. This is one of the oldest elements of the king's titulary. Nekhbet is mentioned with attributes of a mother goddess in the Pyramid Texts.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it also existed another vulture: the one represented by the hieroglyph "a": i think it's the Neophron percnopterus , the egyptian vulture.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nekht-Ankh wrote:
Barbara Watterson describes the headdress as associating the queen with Mut, and only secondarily with Nekhbet.

She also has an explanation for the choice of vulture as a mother figure. She says that it comes from the "universal symbolism" of the mother bird spreading her wings protectively over her chicks. The vulture in particular was chosen because it has the longest wingspan among Egyptian birds.


That is interesting. There are also statues showing the queen dressed in an outfit that has feathered wings wrapped about the body. I'm thinking of a statue of Queen Tiye from the Louvre, and I think there's a 25th dynasty statue of Takoshet (maybe later even?) showing such a dress as well.

The idea of Mut wrapping her wings about the Queen in protection makes sense in that case as well.

Although I now have this image in my head of a Queen with a big bird squatting on her head Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Although I now have this image in my head of a Queen with a big bird squatting on her head


LOL Oh, my, that one made me laugh.

Maybe that's how it all got started.

One day in predynastic times some tribal headman's wife was minding her own business as she sat serenely by the Nile, gathering lotuses. Out of the sky swooped a vulture and it landed on her head.

Two men were standing nearby and observing this. One said to the other, "You know, aside from her screaming and the way she's running around in circles so hysterically, it is a rather noble image."

So begins a great tradition. However, it wasn't until sometime in the Old Kingdom that they realized it worked best to kill the vulture before putting it on the head of their king's great wife.

All right, I'll stop now. It would seem I'm in an odd mood tonight. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:55 pm    Post subject: Vulture association Reply with quote

Hi
The Vulture is closely linked to the Goddess Mut, Mut meaning mother and so became the great 'mother' goddess of Egypt. Mut was patron of teh sky and of mothers.
Vultures are always seen in pairs and are synonymous with mother and child being closely bonded.
Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 8:38 pm    Post subject: The Vulture: Natures Vaacum Cleaner Reply with quote

My mind works logically on this. Vultures clean up the mess that the natural world leaves behind...that is what mothers do. Besides being the queen of the skies and masters of aerial navigation, there is a certain nobilty in their focus on a point and genuine tenacity to not be intimated in their ongoing work. All traits to be admired.
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