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Opening of the mouth for statues v for the deceased
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Kem
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 6:15 am    Post subject: Opening of the mouth for statues v for the deceased Reply with quote

Can anybody please tell me the difference between the Opening of the Mouth when done for statues as compared with when done for the deceased?

Also, is it true to say the Opening of the Mouth is for the purpose of invoking the Ka of a god into a statue?

Thank you.

Kem
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Lutz
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "Ritual of Opening of the Mouth" (wp.t-r`) is one of the oldest and most complex within the history of Egyptian religion. After E.Otto: Das Ägyptische Mundöffnungsritual (1960 ; remains the fundamental work on the subject) six different rituals form at least since the NK its overall composition. As the oldest core and origin of the composition Otto identifies the statue ritual. The ritual causes that the "Ba" of the displayed may indwell into the statue to communicate and interact this way with other beings.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your reply. It made me realise I should have asked a more specific question.

I am familiar with Otto's ideas about the history of the ritual. Specifically I am thinking about his suggestion that even from it's earliest appearance the Opening of the Mouth was based on a variety of other rituals, e.g. an offering ritual, an embalming ritual, a statue ritual. I believe he calls it a confused amalgam.

My question is really about the form of the ritual in the New Kingdom Books of the Dead. I am wondering how this form of the ritual compares with forms for use on statues. Could one take a form as stated in say the Papyrus of Ani and use it on a statue instead of in its funerary context? I realise that in both instances the purpose of the ritual is to make the statue or the deceased capable of receiving the benefits of offerings, but the funerary form is designed to do so for the deceased in the next life while the statue form is designed to do so for the god in this world. This is why I asked the question about if the ritual in the statue form was designed to bring the Ba of the god to come into the statue. Also is the same thing happening in the funeral form? Is the goal of that to bring the Ba of the deceased into the mummy?

Also, slightly more specifically, in say the Papyrus of Ani is The Opening of the Mouth only the scene explicitly named The Chapter of Opening the Mouth of the Osiris Ani or are other scenes e.g. The Chapter Of Bringing Words Of Power To The Osiris Ani or The Chapter Of Giving A Heart To The Osiris Ani In Khert-Neter parts of The Opening of the Mouth or are they discrete entities?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

R. Bjerre Finnestad : The Meaning and Purpose of Opening the Mouth in Mortuary Contexts. - In: Numen - International Review for the History of Religions 25. - 1978. - ISSN: 0029-5973. - pp. 118 - 134, from pages 118 - 120:
Quote:
"Sources referring to the Egyptian ritual of Opening the Mouth are relatively abundant. They can be classified into two groups; one consists of explicit representations, namely ritual texts and pictures of the scenes, the other consists of texts and pictures that make allusive references to the ritual. The former group is limited; the ritual texts and the pictures of the scenes are found almost exclusively in the Theban tombs from the New Kingdom and later. The latter group is extensive; it comprises a heterogeneous material culled from the Pyramid texts, Coffin texts and the Book of the Dead, of temple inscriptions from the Old Kingdom down to Ptolemaic times, of inscriptions on stelae from different periods, and of statements in various papyri. The material in this latter group proves that the ritual was practised extensively in a variety of contexts, and not confined either to Thebes or to the mortuary cult. From both types of sources it appears that the ritual was performed on a large number of objects: on statues of gods, of dead men and of living kings, on mummies and coffins, on Apis bulls, on temples, on sacred boats and amulets, and on names. It further appears that the ritual was performed on different occasions: in the embalming workshop at the termination of mummification; in the workshop where statues, coffins, and other cult requisites were made, as a conclusion to the work; and, finally, in various sanctuaries on statues of gods as well as of dead men, performed either on a single occasion or on successive ones. As this is a ritual which in its main features remains the same in all these different applications, the natural task of research has been to find the common basis of all these uses, or in other words the fundamental idea of the ritual as a whole. What characterizes most of these attempts at a comprehensive understanding is that one particular application of the ritual is considered a primary one, while all the other uses are understood as derivations from it. Usually this approach has been linked with a historistic understanding of the ritual: The meaning is sought with reference to what is regarded as its primary object from a chronological point of view. The choice has been one between the statue and the mummy. Budge, for example, was of the opinion that the ritual was primarily performed on the mummy and secondarily "upon a statue, which represented it"; this is because he regards the fundamental idea of the ritual to be a recreation of the faculties belonging to the living body. Morenz, on the other hand, chooses the statue as the point of departure; he thinks that the idea of the ritual was primarily to animate the statue, from which it "sich leicht ... versteht, dass das Ritual dann auch an der Mumie vollzogen wurde". With regard to these approaches it must be pointed out that basing our understanding of the ritual on its chronologically primary use is unsatisfactory when the aim is to find a common denominator for all applications documented from the NK and onwards. For this purpose the chronologically primary meaning of the ritual is irrelevant. The drawback to the historistic approaches is that they do not seriously consider the semantic ob- scurities and lacunae that arise when the various uses of the ritual are all understood on the basis of the supposed primary one.
In line with the attempts to understand the ritual as a whole Otto has reconstructed a "complete" text comprising 75 scenes. Most representations comprise far fewer, however. As the various representations differ greatly in length, we shall have to make room for the possibility that this fact is conditioned by different versions of the ritual; at any rate the variations in length should not be exclusively ascribed to artistic or economic concern. ..."

The complete article is available online via JSTOR.

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kem wrote:
... Also, slightly more specifically, in say the Papyrus of Ani is The Opening of the Mouth only the scene explicitly named The Chapter of Opening the Mouth of the Osiris Ani or are other scenes e.g. The Chapter Of Bringing Words Of Power To The Osiris Ani or The Chapter Of Giving A Heart To The Osiris Ani In Khert-Neter parts of The Opening of the Mouth or are they discrete entities?

Without the Ani-text in front of me I would say, after everything I've read about the ritual of the Opening of the mouth, the other rituals you mentioned do not belong to the Opening of the mouth ritual. But maybe Neseret can help out here. She is more in it than I...

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps even a note... My impression is that the Egyptian religion had a kind of "pool" of rituals for disposal. For special occasions and needs they could be combined and in this combination itself they could become a separate ritual. In addition to the Opening of the mouth, for example, the coronation or the sed-fest of a king come to my mind. Various rituals are in a "standardized" combined flow, but may still be occurring singly, used when the occasion demands it.

If you read German for the Opening of the Mouth and also for the Statue ritual I can highly recommend...

Hans-W. Fischer-Elfert [Mit e. zool. Beitr. v. Friedhelm Hoffmann] : Die Vision von der Statue im Stein - Studien zum altägyptischen Mundöffnungsritual. - [Schriften der Philosophisch-Historischen Klasse der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften 5]. - Heidelberg : Winter, 1998. - ISBN : 3-8253-0678-X. - X, 105 p.

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is the understanding I have. It seems to be that there are a bunch of spells that can be combined in many different ways for particular purposes. And that the way they are combined is what describes the specificity. The Pyramid Texts are one combination and the Books of the Dead are others.

This means I am trying to understand the patterns in which they were combined for particular purposes, i.e. the statue form and the mortuary form.

Is The Opening of the Mouth one of these spells or a particular set of them?

This reminds me of how they put gods together in combination for particular meanings e.g. Re-Horakhty

I shall look for that source. Thanks.

Kem
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm also wondering what exactly this means - "and unfasten the bindings of this effigy, which are over my mouth" and "even the fetters of the god Set which are over my mouth".

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kem wrote:
I'm also wondering what exactly this means - "and unfasten the bindings of this effigy, which are over my mouth" and "even the fetters of the god Set which are over my mouth".

This image has with safety his base on the myths circle around Osiris - Seth - Horus. I suspect the "fetters of the god Seth" means the condition of Osiris, his mouth is closed / tied (by Seth)?

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have done some more research and I am probably more confused now than ever. I read Lorton's "The Theology of Cult Statues in Ancient Egypt" and Budges, "The Book of the Opening of the Mouth" and Faulkner's "The Egyptian Book of the Dead".

I am confused about the difference between The Book of the Opening of the Mouth and the Book of the Dead because Budge has a book called The Book Of The Opening of the Mouth, which seems to be a book of the dead.

I understand that;
The Opening of the Mouth ritual was done in two contexts for statues. One when the statue was newly manufactured to activate it, though I am not sure exactly what they mean here, it seems to be different from the way the cult statue was awakened each day in the daily offering ritual. And the second was when a statue was used in the funereal context as a conduit for nourishment for the Ka.

There is a scene in the book of the dead called The Opening of the Mouth of the Osiris N.

That the only copies of The Opening of the Mouth that we have are from funereal contexts.

Can anyone please clarify for me the difference between The Book Of The Opening of the Mouth and The Book of the Dead?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kem wrote:
... Can anyone please clarify for me the difference between The Book Of The Opening of the Mouth and The Book of the Dead? ...

That you have even done already:
Kem wrote:
... There is a scene in the book of the dead called The Opening of the Mouth of the Osiris N. ...

The Book of the Dead (the name goes back to Richard Lepsius, who edited it first) is a collection of around 200 spells from the NK and later that should enable the deceased to "Going out by Day" (actually a better title if you absolutely need one, it is usually probably among the first sentences of the book). It gives also orientation in the afterlife and protection from the dangers lurking there. The spells usually have direct parallels in the so-called OK pyramid and MK coffin texts. There assortment may vary, Thebes and Memphis are the two editorial centers for more or less canonical (rather most widely distributed) versions.

Put simply, the statue ritual is part of the opening of the mouth ritual and the opening of the mouth ritual is usally part of the book of the dead. Statue ritual and ritual for opening of the mouth can be used also outside the context of the book of the dead.

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for clearing that up Lutz. Now that you have said it it seem obvious. Smile

The thing I still am not clear on is the exact nature of the 'quickening' as Lorton calls it, that is effected when the statue has The Opening of the Mouth done on it in the sculptor's workshop when it is first made. Lorton states that this is quite different from the 'awakening' that occurs in the daily cult ritual, but he isn't specific about what the difference is. Can anyone recommend a source for this information please?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I understand it (Fischer-Elfert, Die Vision von der Statue im Stein, 1998), the actual statue ritual that takes place usually in the "Gold House" (also place of the workshop for the craftsmen) serves both, the actual creation of the object from the stone, metal, etc. ..., and its first activation / stimulation. Fischer-Elfert interprets sections of the statue ritual as "after-sensations" of the actual manufacturing process, dressed in a ritual. These parts are strikingly manner "myth-free", if there is the speech of a "father", not Osiris is meant.These parts are of course unnecessary in the daily temple ritual, because the statue itself as an object already exists...

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also confuse about the difference between The Book of the Opening of the Mouth and the Book of the Dead.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 08, 2014 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

baltazar wrote:
I also confuse about the difference between The Book of the Opening of the Mouth and the Book of the Dead.

You don`t have to, because there is no real "difference". The collection of the rites and spells for the "Opening of the Mouth" are also, among many other, part of the book "Going out by day" (R. Lepsius = Book of the Dead), best known from countless papyrus rolls, which were given to the deceased, within the tomb.

But the rites and spells for the "Opening of the Mouth" were also used outside of the cult of / for the dead. For example, on statues but also on buildings. So these were magically "animated" / revived this way.

Greetings, Lutz.
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