Egyptian

Bes

Bes
Bes - Image from Wiki Commons
The most common lucky charm to be worn in Ancient Egypt was an image of the god Bes. This ugly, diminutive deity did not belong to the higher echelons of the great gods, but was immensely popular amongst the people. Probably African in origin, Bes may represent a pygmy wearing a lion mask and a plumed head-dress; he is also unusual in that he is shown full-faced rather than in profile, as was the convention in Egyptian art.

Known for his kindliness, Bes progressed from his role as protector of sheep and shepherds to presiding over revelry, dancing and inebriation (many of the Bes charms show the merry little god with a musical instrument). Marriages were also linked with the pygmy deity and he was associated with aiding women in childbirth; Bes is shown on the walls of the temple of hatshepsut in Western Thebes in the scene depicting the birth of the great Queen.

As Bes was the guardian of children, he became the mortal enemy of serpents, scorpions or any creature that could do his charges harm.

Source: Chronicles of Ancient Egypt by Jonathan Dee

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