Opening of the mouth ritual
Dimensions - Total height - 18 cm / 7-1/8 inches
Width - 12.5cm / 4-3/4 inches
Depth - 7.5 cm / 2-3/4 inches
Signed 2017 edition
* Combined postage offered if you wish to add other selections
**Presently this artwork will be made to order by your request.
***Allow for approximately 2 - 3 weeks for completion.
This is a highly detailed, hand painted Egyptian relief fragment featuring the jackal god of mummification - Anubis. He stands over a mummy that is resting on a ceremonial couch which has a lion's foot incorperated into the leg of the couch. Jars of fragrant sacred oils and a lotus flower bud are placed below the couch.
Anubis is performing the most important of rituals - 'the opening of the mouth'. This ritual required Anubis to hold a ceremonial adze to the mouth of the mummy so it could breathe again in the afterlife. Various other implements and sacred oils were used on the most elaborate of ceremonial practice.
Usually performed by a priest wearing a mask of Anubis, only the most noble could afford the full ritual performance but if you had an image of the process with the correct spells written as shown in this carving, it would be a plausible substitute.
Made of a limestone and quartzite composition stone it has been mounted on a removable felt based stand.
Background information -
Anubis Is often one of the 1st gods that become known to people when they are confronted with the complex pantheon of Egyptian gods & goddesses. The striking figure of a Jackals' head with a mans body is a most compelling form. He was said to have made the 1st mummy (Osiris) and was forever to be associated with mummification for all periods of Ancient Egyptian history.
It was often priests who would wear a mask of Anubis to re-enact the role of this essential god in complex rituals to enable the deceased to live again. After the mummy was made, the opening of the mouth ceremony would be performed whereby a variety of amulets such as an adze would be placed on the mouth of the mummy or the mouth of the sealed coffin to symbolise the mouth being opened so that it may breath again. In this scene the god holds one ankh in reserve but strides forward offering another to the unseen deceased. The ankh amulet symbolized life itself and would be offered to the nose thus issuing the breath of life.
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