- Fellowship Dates 2018-2019
- Research Topic Ritual Attire of Nubian Dancers for Hathor
- Fellow or Grant Type National Endowment for the Humanities
- Affiliation Post-doctoral candidate Catholic University of America
The C-Group people were cattle pastoralists in Lower Nubia (2600-1550 BCE). Their distinctive cultural repertoire is clearly distinguishable from the contemporaneous Egyptian population associated with the forts and temples in Lower Nubia. Items found at Hathor temples in Egypt and Nubia and buried with Middle Kingdom priestesses of Hathor at Deir el Bahari, such as bronze mirrors, cowrie shell belts, faience and gold beads, fertility dolls and perforated leather skirts, form part of the funerary assemblage in C-Group cemeteries and, thus, may demonstrate a connection with Egyptian Hathoric worship.
This research describes the religious involvement of C-Group women in the festivals performed for the goddess Hathor as depicted in temple and funerary art in Egypt and Nubia within the framework of the C-Group cultural context. Often the perception of these “foreign” women has been negative, their dances described as “barbaric” and less refined than those of their Egyptian counterparts. The research examines artifacts and tomb and temple art and examines Egyptian textual references recovered during the 1907-12, 1929-34 and 1961-64 salvage campaigns in Nubia and and identifies funerary assemblages of C-Group women and artifacts associated with the worship of Hathor, in part to determine whether these items were buried with many C-Group women or were indicative of a special status due to their restricted use. The research lays the foundation for a larger study of Nubian participation in Egyptian religious life that seeks to connect the C-Group women who danced in Hathoric rites during the Middle Kingdom to the long tradition of women from the south who performed rituals for the divine.