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Deities & Heros >> Egyptian
gifts of the nile, lotus plants, marsh birds, patron god


Author: Mirjam

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The great god of the Nile was called Hapi. In sacred art, he was depicted as a man, somewhat overweight to symbolize abundance, and with female breasts to symbolize the river’s fertile properties. He is an ancient god, to the Egyptians as well as modern man, and the syllable “hep”, the root of his name, is probably an ancient name for the Nile.

Often he holds before him a tray of offerings, the gifts of the Nile, produce of Nile silt. He wears a crown of riverine plants, the lotus of Upper Egypt and the papyrus of Lower Egypt. Wearing the former, he was called “Hap-Meht”; while as the latter, he was “Hap-Reset”. When an artist was trying to show Hapi as god of the whole Nile, he holds both papyrus and lotus plants, or else two vases.

Hapi had a wife in both halves of the country, and they were the personifications of the river banks. Nekhebet, the vulture goddess, was his southern wife; while Uadjet, the cobra goddess, was his northern wife.

He was also the patron god of fish and marsh birds. Epithets for Hapi include "lord of the fishes and birds of the marshes", which might explain the god being depicted with a double-goose head in the temple of Abydos.

His home was thought to be a cave on the island of Bigeh on the Nile. He was worshipped at Abu (Elephantine to the Greeks) and he was closely associated with the god Khnum. No temples or sanctuaries were built specifically in his honor, but his statues and reliefs are found in the temples of other deities.

Hapi was Identified with Osiris as a river or water god .However, in his own right ,he was recognized as one of the greatest Egyptian gods and he was declared maker of the universe.

Main center of worship:  

Adu, where he was worshipped in conjunction with other Netjers;

1st Nome,upper Egypt

Festivals:(dates not historically verified)

28th September– 12th Hethara - Fest of Hapi: Creating of

the Nile

15th December– 30th Tybi - Day of crossing before Nun in

the Temple of Hapi