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
Bes is the name of one of the oldest deities in Africa. He is usually represented as a short, stout man with a broad forehead, wide nostrils, large phallus, and an open mouth with a protruding tongue. However, the physical features of Bes were not the most interesting aspects about him. Of course, he was an African figure, perhaps representative of the Twa or Mbuti people, but he was more than that to the ancient Africans in the Nile Valley, who saw him as the great representative of humanity. This entry looks at his history and beliefs about his powers. The god Bes, usually shown as a dwarf, a domestic god, protector of women in childbirth, also associated with music and dance. Location: Temple of Hathor, Dendera, Egypt . Source: Erich Lessing/Art Resource, New York. The god Bes occurred so early in the human imagination that it reaches back to ...