Hair in Egyptian Art for Respect and Reverence in Women.

Egyptian artisans of the New Kingdom used hair in their drawings for expressing body movements (dance, body bow…).

This technique, adopted from the way of drawing the professional mourners, was applied to the masculine figures in a respectful attitude. The front lock of hair forwards helped the Egyptian artist to represent the respectful bow in front of deities.

Later on, we find that this same practice was applied also to some femenine figures.

Papyrus of Anhai. Detail of the dead woman with her hair forwards and bending her body as a sign of respect. XX Dynasty. Ancient Egypt . British Museum.

Papyrus of Anhai. Detail of the dead woman with her hair forwards and bending her body as a sign of respect. XX Dynasty. Photo: British Museum.

In the Papyrus of Anhai, which dates from XX Dynasty, the dead women was represented also bending her body to the goods, but her whole mane of hair is shaken forwards. The gesture remembers the one of the mourners covering their faces with their hair.

Obviously we are not facing here a mourning rite. The Egyptian artist took the tachnique from the mourning scenes and this way he could stress the gesture of respect of the dead women in front of the goods.

The point here is to see how this practice of the whole mane of hair forwards is applied in Egyptian art to a female figure.

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