Hippopotamus Egyptian God

Hippopotamus Egyptian God

Hippopotamus Egyptian God In Egyptian mythology, Taweret was the name of an ancient Egyptian patron goddess of childbirth and fertility. The name Taueret (Tȝ-wrt) means “the great one,” a Female hippopotamus with lion paws, sagging human breasts, and crocodile tail. She is held on two protective symbols sa and has a distended belly, with apparent signs of pregnancy. On his head, he sometimes wears the sun disk and cow horns. Hybrid body (as mentioned above) and female head, crowned by two liriform horns and solar disk. It can be dressed with a wide and subtle tunic. Sow (as a celestial goddess)

History of Ancient Egyptian Hippopotamus :

hippopotamus egyptian god

Archaeological evidence shows that hippopotamuses inhabited the Nile River in ancient Egypt long before the dynastic era (before 3000 BC). The violent and aggressive behavior of these creatures intrigued the inhabitants of the region, leading the Egyptians to both persecute and revere them. From ancient times, male hippopotamuses were believed to be the manifestation of chaos; therefore, they were overpowered in royal hunting campaigns to demonstrate the king’s divine power. However, female hippopotamuses were revered as manifestations of apotropaic deities, as they carefully cared for their young. Protective amulets resembling female hippopotamuses have been found dating back to the Predynastic period (ca. 3000-2686 BC). The tradition of making and wearing these amulets continued through Egyptian history into the Ptolemaic and Roman periods.

Egyptian Hippopotamus God :

It was not until the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055-1650 B.C.) that taweret came to prominence as a figure of religious devotion. Her ornaments became apotropaic magical objects, the most noted being a type of “staff” or “knife” carved from hippopotamus ivory and possibly used in rituals associated with the birth and protection of infants. Similar images also appear on children’s cups, demonstrating her integral function as the patron goddess of nurture. Contradictorily, she also had a function in temples and funerary tombs. Some scholars believe that this practice demonstrated that hippopotamus goddesses facilitated the process of rebirth after death, as well as aided in earthly childbirth. Then, these statues helped the deceased to pass on to the afterlife.

Moon Knight Taweret :


With the rise of personal piety in the New Kingdom (ca. 1550-1069 BC), household deities such as Taueret gained more importance. Images of taweret have been found among household objects, demonstrating her central role in the household. Such objects were found both at Amarna during the reign of Akhenaten (ca. 1352-1336), a pharaoh of the 18th dynasty who reorganized Egyptian polytheism into a henotheistic religion centered on the worship of the solar disk, called the Aten. The worship of the traditional gods was forbidden during this period, so the survival of Taueret in the artistic body found in the capital of Aten demonstrates her overwhelming importance in daily life.[8] In this period, her funerary function was reinforced, as her powers were considered to be not only life-giving but also regenerative.

Hippopotamus Egyptian God moon knight Taweret

hippopotamus egyptian god

In the Ptolemaic and Roman periods (ca. 332 BC – 390 AD), taweret maintained a central role in Egyptian daily life. Whether in the latter half of the Late Period (ca. 664-332 BC) or early Ptolemaic period, a temple of Ipet was built at Karnak. The enigmatic temple was believed to witness the daily birth of the sun god from the hippopotamus goddesses who lived there. The solar god (Amun-Ra) was conceived as having multiple divine mothers, and by this late period of Egyptian history, Taueret and the other hippopotamus goddesses were included in this set of solar mothers. taweret image also appeared on the exterior of temples dedicated to other deities because of her apotropaic ability to ward off evil forces

Hippopotamus Egyptian God Outside Egypt

taweret developed an important cult outside Egypt. In the Middle Kingdom (ca. 2055-1650 BC), economic and political contact with the Asian cultures of the Levant led to the exchange of ideologies. Taueret was adopted into Levantine religions, serving the same maternal role in these foreign pantheons.

Hippopotamus Egyptian God Ancient Crete

Due to communication with Levantine and Mediterranean coastal cities, taweret also became an integral part of the Minoan religion in Crete, where she is known as the Minoan Genie.

As in Egypt, her image was most prominently displayed on protective amulets. However, her image was slightly altered from the Egyptian one, as it was adapted to Minoan iconography in an artistic style that was congruent with other Minoan images. From Crete, this image spread to mainland Greece, where the goddess was featured prominently in palatial art in Mycenae.[12] In Nubia, the goddess was also depicted in the palatial art of Mycenae.

Hippopotamus Egyptian God In Nubia

This statuette of taweret was found in a foundation deposit under the wall of the pyramid enclosure of the Nubian king Anlamani(ca. 623-595 BC). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

The goddess was also adopted by the Nubians, the empire located directly south of Egypt in present-day Sudan. Like her Minoan counterpart, the Nubian Taueret became part of the Nubian pantheon in the late Middle Kingdom of Egypt. There is evidence that it was displayed in royal rituals at Kerma, the capital of the empire.

Hippos In Egyptian Mythology

Its origins can be traced back to the Old Kingdom (Pyramid Texts) where it appears in the guise of another more ancient divinity, a mother goddess, whose cult became of a lesser order. Until the XVIII dynasty it does not appear under the name of Tueris. It could be a divine entity related to water. This function could be associated with the rupture of the water bag of pregnant women, as well as the annual flooding of the Nile; in some places offerings were thrown into the river in honor of the goddess so that after the withdrawal of the waters, she would give Egypt with good crops.

She is often called the Eye of Ra, as her daughter and mother of Osiris and Isis. She was a domestic deity; sometimes she is seen next to Bes in the chamber of birth. According to Plutarch she was a concubine of Seth (who may also appear in the form of a male hippopotamus), however Tueris joined the forces of Horus in the battle against Seth.

She was also a celestial goddess who bore the title “Mysterious of the Horizon”, represented by a star located in the northern hemisphere of the sky or as a sow. In one legend Tueris was followed by a great serpent which was torn to pieces by the soldiers of Horus. The commemoration of this event was celebrated by the Egyptian soldiers in a feast in which they cut up a rope.

Her figure appears in the beds and in the glasses to put milk. There were many amulets of her worn by pregnant women. Among her attributes is a torch, whose flame exorcises dangerous demons.


Moon knight Hippo Goddess 

taweret has the physical aspects of both a fertility goddess and a fearsome protective deity. She takes the form of a female hippopotamus, a very dangerous creature. She can also be seen with features of other predators, the most notable being the tail of a Nile crocodile or the claws of a lioness. These features are similar to those of other ancient Egyptian protective deities, such as the crocodile god Sobek and the lioness goddess Sejmet. These violent theriomorphic deities take on some of the aspects of the animal they represent – both to the benefit and detriment of humans. The predatory form allows Taueret to protect the innocent from evil. Similarly, the nurturing aspect is also reinforced in her iconography, as she is often shown pregnant and with dangling human breasts. These breasts are shared with the Nile flood god Hapi and symbolize her regenerative powers. Taueret’s fluvial form allows her to participate in what annually revives the Nile valley: the flood personified by Hap.

Facts about the Hippopotamus Egyptian god :

  1. Taweret was a domestic goddess. She was the goddess of fertility or at least one of them, and her name came to mean something like “The Great”,
  2. The great goddess Taweret was directly linked to birth. She was a protective deity of pregnancies, in addition, she was in charge of favoring the abundance of mother’s milk during the lactation period.
  3. Taweret was also a celestial goddess who bore the title of “Mysterious of the Horizon”. As a celestial goddess, she was represented by a star located in the northern hemisphere of the sky or as a sow.
  4. She was the daughter of Ra, which is why she was often called the Eye of Ra. In addition, she was also the mother of Osiris and Isis.
  5. According to Plutarch, this goddess was the concubine of Seth, however, Taweret would join the forces of Horus during the battle against Seth. Even so
  6. There are some legends linked to this goddess. For example, we find one in which Taweret was accompanied by a large snake that at one point
  7. This goddess was represented with big breasts, as it is to be expected being a protective goddess of fertility. In addition, she also had the head of a hippopotamus, although on other occasions it was that of a woman.
  8. On many occasions, she was found with a crocodile tail and lion’s paws. Likewise, her skin was very dark and she used to wear a headdress with horns and the sun disk.
  9. The figure of Taweret used to appear in beds and vessels to pour milk. In addition, numerous amulets were used during her cult, which were usually carried by the pregnant women who worshipped her.
  10. The centers of worship of this goddess are found in Karnak, Heliopolis, Gebel Silsileh, Abu Simbel, and Redesiyeh.


Frequently Asked Questions
Which Egyptian god is a hippopotamus?
Statue of the goddess Tueris. Granite. Late Epoch (715-332 BC). This curious divinity with a hippopotamus body, lion feet and arms, human breasts, and crocodile tail, was the patroness of women during pregnancy and childbirth.
Who is the hippopotamus in Egyptian mythology?
The fearsome hippopotamus goddess, Taweret (literally, "The Great"), was an apotropaic (protective) goddess. She was worshipped primarily in domestic cults, and although manifestations of the goddess are known through funerary spells from the Old Kingdom
Are there hippopotamuses in the Nile?
There are native Nile River hippos in Africa, although as of now the only Nile hippo populations are found in the southern (or upper) Nile River. The hippo's range used to extend much farther north, and many hippos were found in the Nile River and river delta in Egypt.
What does the hippopotamus symbolize?
In some African cultures, the hippopotamus is seen as a representation of strength, courage and adaptability. The animal's ability to thrive both on land and in water is admired, making it a symbol of versatility and resilience.
What qualities does a hippopotamus have?
Hippos are characterized by the following: They are bulky, quadrupedal animals with a stubby, barrel-shaped body and a large, wide-mouthed head with a thick snout. They have smooth, hairless skin, which lacks sebaceous glands, so that out of water they dehydrate easily.
What was the Egyptian god Hippo?
The fearsome hippopotamus goddess, Taweret (literally "The Great One"), was an apotropaic (protective) goddess. She was worshipped mainly in domestic cults, and although the goddess's manifestations are known from Old Kingdom funerary spells
What does the hippopotamus symbolize in Egypt?
Hippos became associated with chaos, and hippo hunting became a metaphor for how ancient Egyptian pharaohs could defeat evil.
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