DES
Knife


   Des is the symbol of protection and retribution for the Egyptians, and as such are predominately featured in Egyptian depictions of the Underworld. The gods of the Underworld have several jobs which involve the use of knives as both protective and retributive instruments: they are to protect the sun-god against his enemies, and they bar sinful people from entering the Underworld at their deaths (and are given appropriate names: read over Chapter 125 of Egyptian Book of the Dead and try to guess which of the deities wield knives!). It is probably with both these meanings (protection and retribution), that des is used in Shemset, the "follower" or "attendant" symbol which we have here.

Back to the Egyptian Underground.

World Cultures

World Cultures Home Page


1997, Richard Hooker
Updated 4-8-97