Saturday, December 12, 2009

ANUBIS


Anubis was a god of the Ancient Egyptians.  His real name in the Egyptian language was Inpu.  The Greeks were the ones that called him Anubis, and that is the name that we mostly hear nowadays.


When you look at pictures or statues of Anubis, you can see that he had the head of a jackal and the body of a man.  But sometimes he had the whole body of a jackal.  Anubis was the god who was in charge of making dead people into mummies, which the Egyptians did a lot of.  In fact, the Egyptians thought Anubis invented the whole process of making mummies in the first place.


Another thing Anubis did was he protected the dead on their trip to the afterlife.  Which means that Anubis was a psychopomp.  This is a new word I learned while doing research on Anubis.  It means "a conductor of souls." If you didn't already know this word, then you have just learned a new word, too!  Anyway, after they arrived in the underworld, Anubis did a ritual called the Judging of the Heart, which involved putting the heart of the dead person on the Scales of Justice.


You might be wondering why Anubis had the head of a jackal.  Well, one theory for this is that jackals, who are scavengers, like I already told you, used to hang out around cemeteries looking for yummy dead bodies to dig up.  So the Egyptians made Anubis be a jackal, and that way he could guard the bodies from real jackals.  Except they made his head black, which is not the color of a real jackal head.  They used black because it was the color of death, but it was also the color of the soil of the Nile, so that made it a sign of rebirth.

Eventually, after hundreds of years, Anubis lost his job as the chief god of the dead, and Osiris got that job instead.  Osiris was Anubis' father, and Nephthys was his mother.  Which goes to show that the Egyptians had some very strange names!

Then later, the Greeks combined Anubis with their own god Hermes, and the result was Hermanubis.  The reason they combined the two was because Hermes was a psychopomp, just like Anubis.  At least that's what my sources said.  Frankly, I thought Hermes was just a messenger-type god with wings on his helmet, but maybe he also had this psychopomp job on the side.


So that's mostly all I have to tell you about Anubis.  Sometimes basenjis are named Anubis, and then they are called "Nubie" for short.  Here are some other Egyptian names that I've heard of for basenjis:  Isis, Khonsu, Cleo, Ra, Ramses, Tut, and Pharaoh.

African names are also popular for basenjis, but that is a topic for another day.

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