[Bes, Protector of the Family Figurine]

Bes.jpg
ca. 1st millennium BCE

The dwarf-god Bes appears fierce and often grotesque but is actually benign in character. He serves as the protector of the family, especially of children and of women in hard labor. His ugliness was considered a deterrent to evil spirits, and he was often imaged in an aggressive posture with knife held high to fend off threats against the family. At the same time, he is also associated with music and merrymaking, and in other contexts was the patron deity of war and hunting. Bes is depicted with a plumed crown and the mane and ears of a lion. He is usually, as here in the bronze figurine, sticking out his tongue in a playful or aggressive manner. This Bes figurine, fashioned from clay, is missing the knife or sword he was holding over his head.

Title

[Bes, Protector of the Family Figurine]

Date

ca. 1st millennium BCE

Description

The dwarf-god Bes appears fierce and often grotesque but is actually benign in character. He serves as the protector of the family, especially of children and of women in hard labor. His ugliness was considered a deterrent to evil spirits, and he was often imaged in an aggressive posture with knife held high to fend off threats against the family. At the same time, he is also associated with music and merrymaking, and in other contexts was the patron deity of war and hunting. Bes is depicted with a plumed crown and the mane and ears of a lion. He is usually, as here in the bronze figurine, sticking out his tongue in a playful or aggressive manner. This Bes figurine, fashioned from clay, is missing the knife or sword he was holding over his head.

Source

Private Collection of Emeritus Professor Douglas A. Knight

Files

Bes.jpg

Citation

“[Bes, Protector of the Family Figurine],” Gallery, accessed December 8, 2019, https://gallery.library.vanderbilt.edu/items/show/3455.