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 Apis bull was the calf of a cow that was never able to have another calf. It was a calf with distinctive features that made it remarkable and unique. For example, the apis bull was black with a white diamond on its forehead, an image of an eagle on its back, two white hairs on its tail, and a scarab beetle mark under its tongue. Such a bull had to be special in the eyes of the ancient Egyptians. They thought that a flash of lightning had to strike the cow in such a way that the cow conceived a calf with the distinctive marks. This was enough for them to see this calf as a mark of something uniquely sacred. It had been sent from heaven by the deity to interact on Earth with humans. Nothing persuaded the Egyptians that this was a coincidence; everything ...