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
Khonsura A. Wilson
The underworld was known as Tuat or Duat in ancient Africa. It was the residence of the spirits and the abode of souls belonging to the deceased. Africans regarded the Tuat as the place that Ra passed through after he, in the form of the sun, set in the evening sky. The Tuat in the 18th dynasty was personified as Ausar. It was one part of the tripartite division of the cosmos by Africans: Pet (Heaven), Ta (land), and Tuat (Underworld). It was also a place where the unrighteous, those whose souls were heavier than the feather of Maat, could be banished to a terrible fate. However, the Tuat was principally the place where the ancestors enjoyed immortality. A 19th-dynasty Kemetic text situates the location of Tuat as ...