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An Insight Into Ancient North African Deity Clothes

By Gamal Rasheed
The pantheon of the Egyptians contained numerous deities, but Bastet was given the chief position. She was portrayed to possess a cat-head, because of which Egyptians placed cats in a place of reverence. As decades passed by, her clothing underwent a constant change so that its portrayal also kept changing.

Originally this deity was depicted as a fierce lioness. However with the passage of time the Egyptians developed a fascination with cats and as these cats were domesticated the depiction of their god changed from a fierce lioness to that of a cat headed woman.

The ancient Egyptians established a unique temple for the goddess, namely, the Bubastis. Within this temple, there were numerous sculptured images of the cat-headed deity. After a thorough examination, Egyptian historians have drawn a conclusion concerning her clothing.

The majority of the statues depict her as a cat headed woman although there are some exceptions in which she is depicted as a leopard and in some older statues as a lion. The trademark statue had the head of a cat upon a body of a youthful woman.

This god was always made to wear highly ornate clothing. She had a multitude of fashion accessories that complimented her ornate attire. These included a small bag which she would be made to carry. In other statues she is shown as carrying a little basket delicately worn over one of her arms. She would also have a musical instrument that was known as Sistrum in her other hand.

Also part of her attire was a breastplate that formed the center of her attire. According to Egyptian mythology this deity had a love for music and dance. She was also thought to be having a generous nature while being very rich as well. In fact the basket that the statue of Bastet was wearing was supposed to represent the bountiful harvest that the goddess was associated with.

The reverence ascribed to cats caused several living cats to adorn the temple dedicated to this goddess. Plenty of cat-bodies that have undergone mummification formed a major part of the archaeological discoveries in the temple of Bubastis. Tamed cats of Egyptian households were buried in Bubastis.

The People would keep statues of the deity in her trademark clothing and attire made from bronze as a token of good luck. They would also leave offerings in the form of these bronze statues at the site of the temple which is why archeologists have found thousands of bronze statues at the site.

As Bastet is held in high position being a deity, cats were also highly respected by Egyptians. Laws to particularly make sure the safety of cats had been put to practice. Persons indulging in harmful activities with an intention to hurt cats were liable to be punished without a doubt. Besides, Egyptian people performed customary rituals during the burial ceremony of a tamed cat.

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Ancient Egyptian Jar Chests can be seen in select places around the world. A great deal of info beyond the scope of the above article can be located at our page on Ancient Egyptian Electricity.