African Culture

Taweret; the Egyptian goddess of fertility.

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Taweret; the Egyptian goddess of fertility.

 

Who is Taweret?

 

The Egyptian hippopotami begot the ancient Egyptian goddess of childbirth and fertility. Taweret also spelled as Tawaret, Twert, Tuart, Tuat, and Taueret.

Taweret; the Egyptian goddess of fertility.
Taweret; the Egyptian goddess of fertility

The name Taweret translates as “she who is great” or commonly called “the great one.” She is depicted and represented by a bipedal female hippopotamus with feline attributes, female human breast, the limbs and pawns of a lion, and the back and tail of a crocodile.



Taweret was one of the revered gods in ancient Egypt; the three animals that made up her look were considered the most ferocious in the kingdom. She was a god of the people, with no real state cult or temple but plenty of believers, at once ubiquitous and inconspicuous.

Taweret; the Egyptian goddess of fertility
Taweret; the Egyptian goddess of fertility

Almost every home, especially one with young children or an expectant mother, Would have had an amulet or figurine or feeding cup with her likeness. A magician-priest might have drawn a circle in the sand around a woman in labor or a sleeping child with an ivory wand made from hippopotamus tusk. She was the god you turned to when your body, like that of Taweret herself, became rounded and full of fragile promise.

For a time, there were even several overlapping hippo deities in ancient Egypt. Ipet, Reret, and Hedjet all played primarily the same role as and may also have been aspects of the same god. Redundancy was not an issue, in any case. Hippos were simply that admired and feared. Which eventually worked against them in real life.


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Francis Chidera
the authorFrancis Chidera
Popularly known as Chokolate is a content creator. A lover of simplified words making it easy to get to a wider audience. It pains to see that Africans are forgetting and neglecting who they are, hence, I am passionate about reminding us of our culture. I work with 54history on the African culture category, to achieve this aim.

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