Statuette of Amun-Min, or, Amun Kamutef - ROM2018_16484_2


Statuette of Amun-Min, or, Amun Kamutef

Medium:Bronze, cast and incised
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 664-332 BC
Period: 26th-30th Dynasty, Late Period
10.7 x 2 x 3.3 cm
Object number: 910.17.14
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt
Description This ithyphallic form of the god Amun was known from at least the 12th Dynasty as Amun Kamutef, Amun Bull-of-his-Mother. The name asserts that the god was self-generated, with no father. The name also suggests the strength, energy and sexuality of the bull. Though he wears Amun’s two-hawk feather crown, the god in this form is wrapped from neck to toes, with only his arms and erect phallus protruding. This posture associates Amun Kamutef with the other ‘wrapped ‘ gods such as Osiris and Ptah, as well as the male fertility god, Min.  The wrappings on such gods stress their sacred nature, whose true form cannot be seen, and their unknowable potential. In this form, Amun is sometimes called Amun-Min.


While one hand grasps his penis, the other is raised at his side, in a rather unnatural gesture, with a flail draped over the open hand. This strange posture makes more sense when one thinks of a sacred stone statue, like the earliest known images of Min from Coptos  with actual, detachable attributes. There would be limits on the durability of a raised stone arm. The object, a flail in this case, would have to be draped over the upraised hand. Such may have been the posture of an original divine image, which became iconic. The odd posture was then copied for all subsequent statues, even though, in bronze, it would have been perfectly possible for the arm to be cast in a natural position, holding the flail above the shoulder. 
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