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Wepwawet: the Egyptian War God by Farumir Wepwawet: the Egyptian War God by Farumir
Wepwawet is one of the oldest-referenced deities in ancient Egyptian history known as the 'Opener of the Way'. This can apply on the spiritual level where He facilitates communication with the various Netjeru (gods and goddesses), or He can work His title in more mundane areas. Kemetic armies often carried His standard into battle that He might clear a path through enemy ranks. Many also pray for His blessing at the start of new projects or phases in their lives.

In late Egyptian mythology, Wepwawet (also called Upuaut, Wep-wawet, Wepawet, and Ophois) was originally a war deity, whose cult centre was Asyut in Upper Egypt (Lycopolis in the Greco-Roman period). His name means, 'opener of the ways'. Some interpret that Wepwawet was seen as a scout, going out to clear routes for the army to proceed forward. One inscription from the Sinai states that Wepwawet "opens the way" to king Sekhemkhet's victory.

Wepwawet originally was seen as a wolf deity. Thus the Greek name of Lycopolis, meaning city of wolves, and it is likely the case that Wepwawet was originally just a symbol of the pharaoh; seeking to associate with wolf-like attributes, that later became deified as a mascot to accompany the pharaoh. Likewise, Wepwawet was said to accompany the pharaoh on hunts, in which capacity he was titled (one with) sharp arrow more powerful than the gods.

Wepwawet is dual-aspected with Yinepu [link] (the Greek name for Anubis). He may appear either as a jackal-headed man, or as a standing or reclining jackal, although the reclining position shown on a golden sledge (platform) is mostly used for Yinepu. In appearance, Wepwawet is much the same as Yinepu; only He may be brown or gray in color instead of black. This color differentiation may be a throwback to an earlier concept in which He was supposed to have been a wolf rather than a jackal; however, in later Greco-Roman portraits He is depicted as very wolf-like as well. But often the only way one can tell the difference between the two is through the interpretation of the hieroglyphs that accompany the portrait.

Like Yinepu, Wepwawet shares the secretive and wiley nature of the jackal who is also associated with the passage and guardianship of the dead. Unlike Yinepu, He has more to do with the mysteries of magic and intuition, and not so much with funerary aspects. He is perhaps the most pragmatic of the Netjeru. He’d get things done in the most efficient way possible within the boundaries of Ma’at [link] (a term referring to universal order, harmony and balance). Ma'at is also the name of a Netjert (goddess) Who embodies these virtues.

Wepwawet can be mischievous bordering on the irreverent, and can be compared to the Trickster in some Native American cultures.

Over time, the connection to war, and thus to death; led to Wepwawet also being seen as one who opened the ways to and through duat, for the spirits of the dead. Through this, and the similarity of the jackal to the wolf, Wepwawet became associated with Anubis; eventually being considered his son. Seen as a jackal, he also was said to be Set's son. Consequently, Wepwawet often is confused with Anubis. This deity appears in the Temple of Seti I at Abydos.

In later Egyptian art, Wepwawet was depicted as a wolf or a jackal, or as a man with the head of a wolf or a jackal. Even when considered a jackal; Wepwawet usually was shown with grey, or white fur, reflecting his lupine origins. He was depicted dressed as a soldier, as well as carrying other military equipment—a mace and a bow.

For what generally is considered to be lauding purposes of the pharaohs, a later mythos briefly was circulated claiming that Wepwawet was born at the sanctuary of Wadjet, the sacred site for the oldest goddess of Lower Egypt that is located in the heart of Lower Egypt. Consequently, Wepwawet, who had hitherto been the standard of Upper Egypt alone, formed an integral part of royal rituals, symbolizing the unification of Egypt.

In the late pyramid texts, Wepwawet is called "He who has gone up from the horizon," perhaps as the 'opener' of the sky. In the later Egyptian funerary context, Wepwawet assists at the Opening of the mouth ceremony and guides the deceased into the netherworld.

See wikipedia for more info.


This is a sculpture project for my college art course, but after making the head I turned it into a costume (too bad the robes made me look really fat). ^^;

I'm very proud of it to say that it is the first mask I've ever made (not counting the cardboard ones from when I was 10). It's made from clay and bandage-rock (kinda like a real mummy's bandages).

The staff, again I made myself out of an old steel drain pipe and two bed-handles, and the feathers on the end of it are REAL sparrow feathers (a hawk killed it in my backyard and I managed to collect and wash the feathers that was left of it).

Part two of this collage is here: [link]

Plz comment and I hope you all like it (coz' I worked both my hands and arse off for a whole year making this!) :D
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:iconflamingchibi:
flamingchibi Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012
Now if I go and sound like a total asshole and destroy your costume, I apologize!

I ADORE that mask, especially since you said that it was your first one you made. Its ten times better then the one I made, that's for sure! I've also got to applaud you on the staff: the piece on the top, with it's delicate lines and form, impresses me because of how you pulled it off. I also love how you included the heiroglyphics on the staff as well: it adds a nice touch.

There's some problem points that I can point out, only because I'm such a stickler on Egyptian mythology. And this is where you might go and hate me so I apologize in advance.

1) The robe doesnt really seem to fit with the character. As an Egyptian god, try to stay away from clothing that might read "European" to a viewer.

2) The staff, at least the top part of it, seems to read European as well. If you were to do another Egyptian god/goddess, try to stay to a simple shape, or even play with the traditional ankh motif or even the Eye of Horus.

Im sorry if I might have hurt you while saying this, but I say this so that your works may develope further. Happy costuming ahead of you : ) .
3) Maybe a possible headpiece? It just seems lacking of something on your head.
Reply
:iconfarumir:
Farumir Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012   General Artist
Actually the staff's head was a bed-post that I modified (it looked like Gandalf's white-staff so I couldn't resist using it). I didn't actually do any metal-welding or whatever they call metal-sculpting. ^^;

1) This bit of my reply actually answers most of your points, but it answers the robe point the best; retro or modern-day designs are better suited for such characters as death-deities since black and silver and other nightly shadings appeal to the theme of darkness and death, sticking to the actual egyptian style is too boring and a real eye-sore if you really wore it with all the gold-colors and half-naked dressing (pardon my french but it is fucking freezing in Britain so the egyptian 'half-naked' look is a huge design-fault if you want to actually use it for a real costume over here). Plus the mask was the project, not the costume, this is just an old halloween costume I used for the photo-shoot.

2) Another reply that answers most of the questions; egyptian spirituality actually clashes with some of our wiccan practices, if you ever go into a european wiccan shop (wicca's the preferred name for witches) you will see lots of egyptian artifacts, jewelry and ornaments, even egyptian ingrediants for charms or scented products, and the traditional tarot cards feature egyptian gods or references to them e.g. the high-priestess card often illustrates a woman with the egyptian sun-crown worn by a couple of gods and wears robes very similar to the female egyptian gods, and both the Moon card and the Tower card will commonly feature scarab beetles and or Anubis/Anubis-looking dogs in the background of the cards' illustrations.

3) Now this one you are asking for the impossible from a 17-year-old newbie to costumes with a strict exam-deadline which I was when I made this mask years ago; the mask was the project, the staff was something made on the side with leftovers from an old curtain-rack and bed-post knob. I had no time and no skill to make any of the things you've suggested back then. Besides they sold ankhs and horus-eyes in the wiccan shop (like I said our practices' kind of intersect) but they were too expensive at the time.
3-b) The mask was my own design, I didn't want to make an exact egyptian replica anyway because that wouldn't get me any marks in the exam, we got marked on creativity not 'tradition'. So accuracy was never my goal.

Don't be sorry, I appreciate your critigue (trust me I've met some real nasty ones who pissed me off because they got in my face about crap that was completely irrelevent)...but unless somebody commissions me, there's not going to be a next time for this kind of mask. This was a one-off for an exam.
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:iconflamingchibi:
flamingchibi Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
Oh trust me, Im as much as a newbie as you are, and I'm 19! So dont feel bad: I think most of my costumes are shit too XD

If you ever needed to make something, like an Eye of Horus or anything like that, try Sculpey. Its easy enough to use and paint on as well.
Reply
:iconfarumir:
Farumir Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012   General Artist
...I'm 21 now and in university. I told you (and said in the artist's comment) that this mask was for my A-level exam in sixth form in highschool. I've moved on a lot since then.
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:iconflamingchibi:
flamingchibi Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2012
Derp. I feel really smart now - w -
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:icondevilmayize:
DEVILMAYIZE Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011  Student Filmographer
Castlefest?
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:iconfarumir:
Farumir Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2011   General Artist
What's that?
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:icondevilmayize:
DEVILMAYIZE Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Student Filmographer
it's some contest in Netherlands and... well never mind.. u anyway don't know what is that.....
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:iconfarumir:
Farumir Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011   General Artist
Couldn't go to it anyway, live in the UK and no money. :shrug:
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:icondevilmayize:
DEVILMAYIZE Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2011  Student Filmographer
U LIVE IN THI UKRAINE???!
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