Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Blogging from A to Z - day 3 - C

Today I want to tell you about the Crook and the flail.

The Crook and the Flail are symbolic – they signified pharaonic dominion over the land of Egypt. Both of farming origin, the crook symbolized that the pharaoh is the shepherd or the carer of the people and flail is the scourge of necessary punishment to maintain order in society. Together, usually held in both hands crossed on the chest, they are the most prominent insignia of the royal regalia of ancient Egypt that symbolizes divine authority.

The crook and the flail were associated with several deities. It started as symbol of Geb as the original ruler of Egypt. It was inherited by Osiris when he took over the position as king. During this time, he acquired the epithet, “The Good Shepherd”, presumably because these instruments were used by farmers. Other deities associated with these symbols included Andjety known as the foremost of the eastern nome and eventual aspect of Osiris, Horus as Osiris’ heir, and Khonsu, a known aspect of Horus. However, some gods may be seen bearing only the flail including Min and Anubis (especially in his jackal form) who were both associated with Osiris.

During the Third Intermediate Period, Ushabtis or commoners use them in order to enhance their chances of afterlife because of the crook and flail’s connection with Osiris who rose from the dead.

So long my friends,


  1. I'm very curious about how farmers used the flail? As a whip for oxen? I guess I picture the crook for sheep and can't picture using a whip on them! Interesting post!

  2. Another interesting post. Enjoying them - and learning things. A great combination.

  3. It's easy to get confused because so many of these symbols refer to multiple deities. I'm so glad you're posting this stuff. Very cool.

  4. Loving these posts. I, too, am absolutely enamored with Ancient Egypt! Keep em coming! :D


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