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by Micha F. Lindemans
The Egyptian dwarf god who, with his grotesque figure, guards against evil spirits, snakes, and misfortune. Originally he was the protective deity of the royal house of Egypt, but gradually became a popular household deity throughout Egypt, especially among the masses of the common people. He is a god of human pleasures and jollity, music and dance. In particular he was the protector of children and of women in labor, and aided the hippopotamus goddess Taweret in childbirth.


Unlike most other Egyptian deities, Bes was depicted full face (often nude, with prominent genitals). He was shown as a dwarf, with a protruding tongue, bow legs and the ears, mane and tail of a lion or cat. On his head he bore a plumed crown and he wore the skin of a feline animal. With his swords and knives he wards off evil spirits, and with his instruments he creates a din to frighten them off.

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