Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What's in a hat? A lot if you're an Egyptian goddess

I've gone on record (at least on Facebook):


I was looking for a hat that combined steampunk as well as Egyptian elements for a banquet I attended.  This one was SO perfect!

Alas, it cost $500, and my budget did not allow for such sublime wonderfulness.
After some near frantic searching on eBay and other places, I decided to make a hat. The one you see to your left. It cost a lot less than $500. I received a lot of compliments. At the end of day, I was left with one overriding question.

Question: "What's in a hat, anyway?"
Answer: A lot if you are an Egyptian goddess.

Consider these two.

They look a lot alike. Both women
  • Are kneeling in front of hieroglyphics.  
  • Have wings. 
  • Have black hair, parted over their shoulders. 
  • Have nearly identical faces. 
  • Wear headbands. 
The difference: one wears a feather on her head, and one wears something like a chair. (Hint: it's really a throne.) We know them by their hats.

Ma'at always wears a feather, which she uses when she weighs the heart of a dead soul. The name Isis means The Throne, so she wears her name.

In this statue of Tutankhamen, Isis carries the young Pharaoh. Notice his body is in the shape of  the throne as he becomes the hat Isis wears. Tutankhamen came to the throne during a turbulent period in Egyptian history, right after Akhenaten tried to get rid of all the old gods. By showing Isis carrying Tutankhamen and making him her crown, the artist is sayingTutankhamen returned to traditional religion, and the gods recognize him as the rightful king.

As the Goddess of 10,000 Names, Isis wore many different hats. She became one of the supreme goddesses of Egypt, so she took on many aspects of other goddesses, just as she assumed the wings of Ma'at. In the following crown, she blends her throne headdress, with a solar disk and cow horns that itypically belongs to the goddess Hathor, all on top of the traditional vulture crown of an Egyptian queen. I'm sure there's a kitchen sink in there somewhere.

What would your hat be if you were an Egyptian goddess?