Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
In ancient Egypt, the word ka was used to mean the life energy in humans and deities. The word was used in many different contexts, but always at the base of its use was the idea of the life energy of an individual. The ancient Egyptians represented the ka by a pair of up-stretched arms, similar to the vertical horns of a bull. Because the ka was life energy, it did not exist in a dead person; it was a living force, however, that continued even after the person had died. Therefore, the ka could be made to live forever if the proper rituals were performed. In the tradition of the ancient Egyptians, when a person was born, the ka was created at the same time. In fact, Khnum as creator god ...