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
Kimani S. K. Nebusi
Spit, or saliva, is almost entirely pure water. It consists of only about 1% solid material. The ritual significance of spit in African tradition has in the beginning been that of a creative agent, but it has almost always afterward been visualized as a transformative and healing agent. The great importance of spit to the ancient Egyptians may well be indicated by its location in the realms of myth, divinity, medicine, and social practice. In the Medew Netjer , a large vocabulary pertaining to spit, spittle , and other cognates amounts to more than 20 words and expressions, thus indicating the relative importance of spit to the ancient Egyptians. The first written reference to spit in the history of humanity occurs in the earliest Creation Story of the African people, the Kemetyu creation myth. Here, Itm, Atum, the Creator Divinity, creates Shu, the Divinity of Air, and Tefnut, the Divinity ...