Egyptian Museum, Cairo 600 B.C.
The Ancient Kamites revered cats. They were admired for their graceful strength and agility. Bastet is the Kemetic (Egyptian) Goddess with the body of a woman and the head of a cat. Bastet is the Goddess of cats, the rising sun, the moon, truth and enlightenment. Also of joy and protector of women.
Cats began to appear on objects of everyday life. There were gold cats on intricate bracelets, small golden cat pendants, cats amulets made of soapstone for necklaces and rings. African women made up their faces holding mirrors with cats on the wooden handles and on their cosmetic pots. The best part was that ordinary people could enjoy the protection of the cat goddess through their amulets on their clothing or around their necks or in their earlobes. Cats even figured in dream interpretation. In one book of ancient dreams, it was said that if a man sees a cat in a dream, it means he will have a good harvest.
Cats were sacred to Bastet, a sun Goddess who represents the warm, life giving power of the sun. Bastet was the daughter of Ra, the sun god. She is usually represented as a lion or cat-headed figure. In the New Kingdom, the male cat was regarded as an incarnation of the Sun God and the female cat was equated with the solar eye. Feline figures may display a scarab, the symbol of the rising sun, engraved on the head or breast thus showing their solar significance. Hundreds of figures were set up as votive offerings in the temple of Bastet at Bubastis in order that the donor might share in the Goddess's grace. Actual mummies of cats were buried by the thousands in special cemeteries in the area. Cats protected the temples from snakes. The ancient Kamites (Egyptians) held cats in the highest esteem and the penalties for injuring or killing a cat were very severe.
Size: 9.5"H (24cm)
Item Type: statue
Material: bonded stone
Weight (lbs): 3.5 lbs, ship wt: 5 lbs, ship box: 19x13x11