Kemet – The Black Land – If there is a magical place in this world to get ourselves lost in, it would be Egypt. Is not just known for mummies but this place had given birth to art, fashion, literature, and many other things. Egypt has made it possible for us to travel back in time and become part of the wonders of the past.
History of Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt is located in the north of Africa and is known to be the most powerful and richest civilization in the region of 3,000 years which is 3100 B.C to 30 B.C. It has left behind so many monuments, arts, documents that are still a mystery to the archaeologist and the entire world. Even though with time Egypt and its culture have evolved with the world but the region holds so many stories, incidents, events, inventions, the beauty that are too deep-rooted to ever be erased.
Egypt was popularly known as KEMET meaning the black land. The Nile flood caused this fertility of the soil which became everything for the Egyptians. The fertile soil was so precious to them that they used it for the burial of pharaohs, the rulers of the state.
Pharaohs mean the great house. Around 3400 B.c the pharaohs wore two crowns because of the division of the upper and lower kingdoms.
Because of the prosperity of the soil, agriculture in Egypt started 7,000 years ago. The climate then was much wetter but now it’s barren and not much fertile. Here is The history of Egypt which is divided into 30 dynasties.
The Road to Afterlife
When we think of mummies, we are reminded of those ghost movies where we got to see conjuring images of a person who was wrapped in those bloody bandages.
But in Egypt, this process was known as mummification which was an honorable tradition for the Egyptians.
The religious specialist would practice this tradition on deceased Pharaohs and preserve their bodies by removing all their organs except for the heart. They believed in life after death, and for this to happen the soul would need its body hence the body was preserved. Mummification was done based on the social status of people. Not everyone was bedded in a majestic tomb that was filled with gold and jewelry.
Here are some of the most famous mummies including the famous Tutankhamun who was just 9 years old when he became the Pharaoh in the 18th century.
Let’s Meet the Egyptian Goddesses and God
1. MUT- The Mother Goddess
Most important Goddess of the 18th dynasty. Mut means mother in Egypt. She is the powerful mother who gave birth but who wasn’t born of any and she has given birth to her son Khonsu whose father was Amon. She wore two crowns which represented that she was part of both the upper and lower kingdom which symbolizes her dominion all over Egypt. Mut is represented by vulture and was often portrayed as lioness, cat, and cobra. She was the sky Goddess who protected the land. And Mut was also known for being the mistress of all gods and was often called the lady of heaven.
2. AMUN- RA: Hidden Light
He was the oldest and was known as the ultimate god of ancient Egypt. He was an invisible God who was said to be the creator of all forms of life. After joining hands with Ra who was a sun Goddess, he was called Amun-Ra the hidden light. Amun for hidden and Ra for light.
Amun was known as the King of kings and the father of the pharaohs. He was not just powerful and worshipped in Egypt but also outside of Egypt. In Egyptian mythology, he was known as the ram who had curved horns with fertile energy. The greek called him the Egyptian synonym of Zeus.
She was the mother of war and healing. And protected the pharaohs in the war and was capable enough for destroying her enemies. Making the evil tremble. Not just in this life but she was known for protecting pharaohs in the afterlife too. With the power to destroy, she was balanced out with the power of creation. Sekhmet was the daughter of Ra and was the Eye of Ra. Even though she was feared by all but she was also a healer who carried healing abilities.
Fashion in Ancient Egypt
Imagine the mummies having better fashion sense than you. Today’s fashion styles are the recreation of Egyptian fashion. Yes, there were not just mummies found but the archaeologist found ancient treasures. The tombs were filled with make-up kits, perfumes, jewelry.
1. Women’s Fashion
Women wore ankle-length sheath dresses made of linen cloth. In Egypt, the clothes were mostly made of linen. The upper-class women wore pleated dresses with fringes which were covered with transparent clothes over them, making them look royal. The lower class women wore plain dresses and the servants wore dresses that had colorful checkered patterns on their fabrics.
2. Men’s Fashion
The upper-class men wore knee-length kilts made of rectangular linen and stiffened pleats in the front were attached to the cloth, which was often wrapped around their bodies for the fast pace and movement. The older men wore longer kilts. Pharaohs were seen wearing loads of jewelry. The lower poor-class men wore plain linen when they had to go for work.
Jewelry and makeup were worn by both men and women. The make-up protected their skin from the deserted climate. And the ornaments, jewelry, rings were worn on ankles, chest, hands, and head to protect them from getting hurt, as a form of self-defense.
If there were no art passed on, we wouldn’t have been able to make a clear image of the Egyptian civilization. And we definitely would have missed the chance to learn from the greatest of artists. The reason today’s art exists is because of the existence of past artworks. And Egypt is rich in art. Their art which was produced in the 4th century A.D has been living to this day. The elements of Egyptian art included- symmetry, anonymity, and symbolism.
Egypt was a civilization that had mastered the art of preserving the bodies of precious souls and now it had wrapped the whole civilization so that the body and soul of Egypt can live forever in the coming centuries.