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
Rimani S. K. Nehusi
The number 3 has been significant in the language and iconography of Africa from the time of Kernet, being extensively represented in the rituals and general cultural life throughout the ages. It conveys the ancient Egyptian notion of plurality and often that of unity. In the mental universe of the Kemetyu, there was singular (1), dual (2), plural (3 and more), and, oftentimes, very many or an indeterminate number was expressed as 9, that is, “the plural of plurals,” which was also, but less often, represented as other multiples of 3. In keeping with this status, the number 9 also represented everything in the Kemetyu universe. This much is conveyed in such terms as psdt: “Ennead,” literally, “group of nine.” This representation of indeterminate plurality was given rather concrete expression in the concept of the Nine Bows, the summation of Kemet's traditional enemies. The nine petitions made by the The ...