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(Deity)BES

Also known as BESI

Bug ugly, fat and bearded Egyptian dwarf God of childbirth, humour, dance & sing-songs. Bes is as close as you'll ever get to a super-nanny— the all-in-one entertainment and child protection package.

Bes's main job was helping out the hippo Goddess Taweret with childbirth and would dance about the birthroom shaking his rattle and yelling like a loon. This doesn't sound particularly helpful, especially during the trickier moments when great concentration is needed, but it was a sure-fire way of keeping evil spirits at bay.

After Tawaret had done her thing Bes would stay by the cradle entertaining the child so when a baby giggles for no apparent reason you can bet your bottom that Bes is around making funny faces - he loves to stick his tongue out.

Originally protective deity of the royal house of Egypt, Bes's role as demon-queller extends to driving off mischievous spirits that cause minor misfortune, like tripping people up, turning milk sour, and making your biscuit break when you're dunking it in tea. He is so fantastically ugly that even a statue of him is enough to frighten away wicked creatures. This is why many households have one next to the front door.

Bes is often spotted shaking his rattle with Hathor who is quite handy with a tambourine by all accounts. I can only summise that this is somekind of ancient jam session - even the gods have to let their hair down sometimes.
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'BES' - Egyptian entry : 21 Dec 2008
Page last modified on 30 Aug 2010
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