Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Opening of the Mouth (cont.)

            All four priests now returned to the exterior of the tomb where the Sa-Mer.f awaits them. The Sem lead the Sa-Mer.f into the tomb and presented him to the statue with the words, “I have brought unto thee thy beloved son Horus and he shall open thy mouth for thee”. The Sa-Mer.f took in his hand an iron chisel[1] and a finger-like piece of metal and touched the eyes and mouth of the statue with them as the Kher-Heb says, “Sa-Mer.f, open the mouth and the two eyes of Osiris, the first time with the iron implement “Metchetfet” and the second time with the finger of “tcham” metal”. After this had been done, the Sem approached the statue and pressed his finger against its mouth and eyes[2].

            The Sem then took a bag filled with a red substance (red ochre?) and rubbed the lips of the statue with it (thus restoring color to the lips of the deceased)[3], after which he took a “nemes” bandlet (a strip of cloth or a kerchief) and drew it over the eyes and mouth of the statue[4].

            At this point a bowl of water, which represented the Eye of Horus[5], was presented to the statue. Then the Pesh-en-kef is laid upon the mouth of the statue[6]. Milk was rubbed on the mouth of the statue and then a feather of a “Nena” goose was waved four times beneath the nose of the statue[7] (does this feather impart the “breath of life” to the deceased?).The “Bull of the North” was now slaughtered and its foreleg and heart were offered to the deceased as when the “Bull of the South” was slaughtered. The Seb-Wr and Tun-Tet adzes were then used on the mouth and eyes of the statue as before, after which the statue was once again censed.

[1] Robert O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts, Vol. III, (Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd., 1973),  p. 7. Spell 816 of the coffin texts mentions this portion of the Opening of the Mouth ceremony.

[2] Budge, Book of Opening the Mouth, vol. I, pp.78-81.

[3] Budge, Book of Opening the Mouth, vol. I, p. 81.

[4] Budge, Book of Opening the Mouth, vol. I, p. 82. Budge places this ceremony (Budge’s eighteenth ceremony) here because it is so placed on the coffin of Buthaiamon, However, only one other known text (the tomb chapel of Imenititis) places this ceremony here. Baly has shown that even the best of the texts contain inversions in the order of the ceremonies (Baly, pp. 175-6) and since the use of the “nemes” bandlet to adorn the statue is given as the twenty-sixth ceremony in the Seti texts, it would seem the placing of this ceremony here could be an error.

[5] All offerings to the deceased represented the Eye of Horus, see: Breasted, James, The Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 1972), p. 59. But , see also: Robert O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts, Vol. I, (Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd., 1973), p. 62, where “white loaves are Anubis; your hnfw-loaves are Osiris; your hbnnt-bread is Nwt.k-nw”. Spell 71, and numerous others, in the Coffin texts (Faulkner, p. 67) do, however, refer to an offering of bread as the Eye of Horus. Additionally, spell 936 of the Coffin Texts lists eighty different offers to the deceased including oils, incense and various foods, and calls each of these offerings the “Eye of Horus”.

[6] Budge, Book of Opening the Mouth, vol. I, p. 83.

[7] Budge, Book of Opening the Mouth, vol. I, p. 84.

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