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The Feather of Maat
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Rune
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject: The Feather of Maat Reply with quote

Maat's Feather:


Ostrich feather:


Maat’s feather appears to be missing half of the barbs from the one side of the central shaft. Is that correct?

One writer thought the origin of the Feather of Maat had to do with how feathers are balanced on each side of the shaft, by the individual feather barbs. But that doesn’t seem to be a good explanation if the feather is missing the one side?
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a thought, but what if you turn the viewpoint around a bit. What does the sideward view give? Is it a more accurate representation of the Ma'at feather?

I do not know if this will make a didfference, but knowing the way that the Egyptians sometimes drew 3D objects in 2D, changing the way they would actually look to the human eye - could be a lead.

i.e- the Ma'at feather may not actually be a true likeness of the object being represented.

Thanks Wink
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freeTinker
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good question... can't resist- if only coz I use it as a logo-thing, I kinda like styler78's idea that the feather is a 2D representation of a 3D image

I think these kinda things are sometimes called an ideogram; that it be symbolic of an idea or thought. Symbolic of what? well, 'shu', air or movement of such comes to mind... there are a few types of feathers (even on an ostrich), the non-flight aspect and physical size would not have escaped the egyptian mind (not sure that has any significance)- the down type feather of the ostrich is extremely light and airy as any boa wearer will attest- it seems observable that the hairy bit of the feather of Ma'at, I think they are called barbs always seem to face away from Thoth (as example) or some god, or the king etc. - pondering this, I have wondered if this has anything to do with the voice, words or breath of the other party... in other words, if someone (god, king or otherwise) in a depiction is shown uttering words- then the feather of Ma'at is shown bent away from this energy and power in response. Even if simply out of respect or in anticipation... just adding some of my thoughts to the mix
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Styler78
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freetinker wrote:

barbs always seem to face away from Thoth (as example) or some god, or the king etc

I wasn't aware of that...very interesting and could well have some hidden meaning


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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 17, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are other instances where only half the feather is shown:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Queen_Ashit_relief.jpg

This is from the 11th dynasty. Queen Ashayet in this case.
There's one similar showing Queen Kawit I think

Not sure if the lady in waiting is waving a fan?
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Tez
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

freeTinker wrote:
- it seems observable that the hairy bit of the feather of Ma'at, I think they are called barbs always seem to face away from Thoth (as example) or some god, or the king etc. - pondering this, I have wondered if this has anything to do with the voice, words or breath of the other party... in other words, if someone (god, king or otherwise) in a depiction is shown uttering words- then the feather of Ma'at is shown bent away from this energy and power in response. Even if simply out of respect or in anticipation... just adding some of my thoughts to the mix


I'm not sure that's always the case though. It didn't take me long to find a picture of a frieze showing seated deities of the afterlife all holding feathers and in every case the barbs were facing them.


But check out this image:



From the side it look more like the pictogram.


One final point, we have no way of knowing if the original fetish was actually trimmed, with the barbs removed on one side for whatever reason.
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freeTinker
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tez wrote:
...I'm not sure that's always the case though. It didn't take me long to find a picture of a frieze showing seated deities of the afterlife all holding feathers and in every case the barbs were facing them.


This topic was kinda only touched on previously, it might be interesting to look at that frieze (or any number of others) regarding who was speaking what in it, and if and where they are positioned relatively. interesting topic...
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

freeTinker wrote:
Tez wrote:
...I'm not sure that's always the case though. It didn't take me long to find a picture of a frieze showing seated deities of the afterlife all holding feathers and in every case the barbs were facing them.


... it might be interesting to look at that frieze (or any number of others) regarding who was speaking what in it, and if and where they are positioned relatively. ...

Sounds like a representation of the 42 judges in the Hall of Maat from the Book of the Dead.

Greetings, Lutz.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always believed that Maat's feather was a falcon's feather because of its connection with Re-Horakhty. And besides, the ostrich feathers that appear in many gods' aod royals' headresses look quite different.
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
I always believed that Maat's feather was a falcon's feather because of its connection with Re-Horakhty.

Don`t know what you mean. What is the connection of the feather of Maat with Re-Horakhty?

What about the duality of Maat? See for example the Book of the Dead, Hall of the two Maati. Maybe one half of the feather for each of the two Maati?

Greetings, Lutz.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lutz wrote:
. What is the connection of the feather of Maat with Re-Horakhty?


Ra-Horakhty/Maat >> father/daughter
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and Ra-Horakhty >> falcon
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
Lutz wrote:
. What is the connection of the feather of Maat with Re-Horakhty?


Ra-Horakhty/Maat >> father/daughter

Maat was created by Atum, at the day of the first time, when Atum came out of the Nun into beeing. She is called (also) his daughter.

Ra-Horakhty is to my knowledge a special manifestation of Ra : Horus of the horizons (?).

Greetings, Lutz.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, but how about her epithet "Daughter of Ra"?
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
OK, but how about her epithet "Daughter of Ra"?

Atum came into beeing on the ben-ben stone as Ra. Maat can be his companion (Pyr. 1774b) and also his daughter (CT II, 27c).

Ra-Horachty is the youthful sun-god in the morning, a manifestation of Ra. Already for reasons of logic he can`t be older than Ra himself, I think.

Greetings, Lutz.
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