Ancient Egypt and Egyptology
Modern Egyptian Funerary practice?
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posted 20 May 2003 01:22 PM
Are there any similarities between modern Egytpain funerary customs/rites and those of the Ancient Egyptians. Aside from the obvious that the modern Egyptians don't mummify their dead and entomb them, I am curious to know if there are similarities in there processions and mourning practices. It is said that when the caches of New Kingdom mummies were found and being moved in the 1800's egytpian woman were witnessed wailing, pulling out their hair and throwing sand on their head as they did in ancient times. I ask this with the news of the upcoming return of Seti I mummy to Egypt. I am wondering how the people of Egypt will react to such an event.
posted 20 May 2003 09:32 PM
''Are there any similarities between modern Egytpain funerary customs/rites and those of the Ancient Egyptians. Aside from the obvious that the modern Egyptians don't mummify their dead and entomb them''
Mummification actually declined slowly,and was praticed in some rual areas in Upper Egypt up to the Islamic invasion.
However in some rual parts of Upper Egypt,the village sheikh washes the body in the sacred pool of Amun. Many rual Egyptians also believe in a pressence of a Ba which they believe hoovers around their house.
You might notice that many Baladi Egyptians attend cemetaries and leave food and spray libations for their dead ancestors much like the Ancient Kemetians did.
The funeral in Upper Egypt is very much mixed of tradition and Islamic customs.
''I am curious to know if there are similarities in there processions and mourning practices. It is said that when the caches of New Kingdom mummies were found and being moved in the 1800's egytpian woman were witnessed wailing, pulling out their hair and throwing sand on their head as they did in ancient times. ''
The pratice of wailing is still quite common in Upper Egypt,while Lower Egyptians seem to not pratice this.
For more on ancient customs which survive you might want to check out ''Fellahin of Upper Egypt'' by Winfriend S Blackman. Also check out the book ''Shahhat an Egyptian'' by Richard Critchfield. In the book ''Shahhat An Egyptian'',Shahhat's mother,when his father dies performs a wailing ceremony,which is rather nicely documentation in the book of survial of Kemetian customs in the Fellahin life every day.
The other name for Upper Egyptians is sa adi. Those Fellahin who come to Cairo,who usually live in cramped communites,are called Baladi.
Some Baladi come from: the Delta,Upper Egypt,and Middle Egypt to work usually as doormen for richer more elite Egyptians who live in the city.
Most Egyptians could careless,and the Fellahin of Upper Egypt don't really know much about the past,except what the Quran says about the Per aa.
The strict Islamic atmosphere forbids such actions they deem as haram,which sometimes can mean witchhunts.
The police department in Cairo continued its efforts to find the outlaws and those who practiced magic, charlatanism, etc, when they arrested a "charlatan" (61 years old) who performs zars (exorcism, etc) at her apartment in El Waylee, assisted by another 8 persons. The article goes on to say that the lady, whose name is Sadeeka Hasan Mohammed Gad, convinced her victims, especially young women, of her ability to solve their marital and health problems. There were three of these young women present at dawn when the suspects were arrested.
See also the book ''Baladi Women of Cairo'' by Evelyn A Early
posted 21 May 2003 08:17 AM
i don't understand why more people haven't looked to the fellahin to learn about the kemet's history. the links between the groups seem crystal clear.
before gadalla, i hadn't even heard of baladi or fellahin. and it was by chance that i stumbled onto gadalla's work. before that i kept hearing about how the copts were the descendants of kemetians. this seems ridiculous because of how often it was mentioned that coptic christians came to kemet as religious refugees.
i guess i could understand why arab scholars would ignore the fellahin, but why western scholars?
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