Description In rituals for the gods, special instruments were used by priests and priestesses to invoke the deities or to perform rituals before them. One of the most important instruments was the Menat, a counterweight that held elaborate beaded collars in place, used also as a noise-making ritual instrument by rattling the collar's beads. The representation of a broad collar called an Usekh (also called an Aegis, originally a Greek term for "shield") surmounted with the head of a deity functioned as a protective symbol. This combination of the Menat and Usekh is surmounted by the heads of the divine couple Shu (god of the air) and Tefnut (goddess of moisture and corrosive air). They were the first emanations of the primeval god Atum, when he created the world. The Menat is flanked by cobra serpents; the upper part displays the squatting figure of the ram-headed sun god, while the lower part displays an oxyrhynchus fish in a papyrus thicket.
- Daily Magic in Ancient Egypt. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2006-2007.
Provenance Sheik of the Pyramids, Egypt [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1930, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1930
Download Image Add to Collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Creative Commons License