Explanations behind the Henu Bark

    Leading from:
    Evolution of the Space Jockey from the Egyptian Book of the Dead
  1. The Sektit or the Seher boat or Hennu boat was not made in the form of an ordinary boat, but one end of it was very much higher than the other and was made in the shape of the head of a gazelle. The centre of the boat was occupied by a carefully closed coffer, which was surmounted by a hawk with protruding wings stretched out over the top of it. This coffer contained the body of the dead Osiris, and it rested upon a framework or sledge which was provided with runners. The support of the sledge was made in the form of lotus flowers, which are well-known types of the dawn and renewal of life. Papyrus plants are emblems of the South-Lotus plants of the North. It was in this boat that the mummy form entered the Tuat, was drawn through, and, finally entering the tail of a large serpent, was drawn through its body and came forth as a new or regenerated soul at the Double Cave on the island in the lake. It is of great antiquity and predynastic. (source: www.freemason.com/)
  2. The name given to the Seker Boat is “Ḥennu,” , and it is mentioned several times in the Book of the Dead, and sometimes in connexion with traditions of great importance. [Page 506] Thus after the lxivth Chapter we have a rubric which states that the composition was found in the masonry below the shrine of Ḥennu during the reign of Semti (Hesepti) a king of the 1st Dynasty; now Ḥennu can only be the god of the Ḥennu boat, and the shrine of Ḥennu must be the place where it was kept.
    A most valuable proof of the antiquity of this boat is found on an ebony tablet in the British Museum[5] which was made for the royal chancellor Ḥemaka, who flourished during the reign of Semti, whose Horus name was Ṭen. On this we see a representation of the king dancing before Osiris, who is seated within a shrine on the top of a flight of steps, and in the register immediately below it is a figure of the Ḥennu Boat. The Seker or Ḥennu Boat was probably a form of the Sektet Boat, i.e., the boat in which the sun sailed over the sky during the second half of his daily journey, and in which he entered the Underworld in the evening, for Rā the Aged, is said to be like Horus, and Rā the Babe, to be like Seker.
    The sanctuaries of Seker must have been extremely numerous[6]  in Lower Egypt in very early dynastic times, but it appears that before the great development of Rā worship took place, the god Seker was already identified with and merged in Ptaḥ, and that these gods were adored together in one temple. The forms in which Ptaḥ-Seker is represented are interesting, for they illustrate the attributes of the double god, and prove that it was Ptaḥ who usurped the characteristics of Seker, and that Seker was the older god.
    Ptaḥ-Seker is often depicted in the form of a man who wears upon his head a crown composed of disk, plumes, horns, and uraei with disks on their heads, ; a cognate form is perhaps that reproduced by Lanzone[7] in which the god, who in this case is called “Ptaḥ whose double plumes are lofty,” has upon his head horns, plumes, and a uraeus, and a uraeus upon his forehead. Another interesting form is that of a mummy with a disk and the two feathers of Maāt, , upon his head.[8] Elsewhere he is found in the usual form of Ptaḥ seated upon [Page 507] a throne behind Osiris and followed by Anubis, Horus, son of Isis, and Hathor. (http://wisdomlib.org/egypt/book/the-gods-of-the-egyptians-vol-1/d/doc6835.html)
  3. In Egyptian mythology , the hennu boat also henu , Manuel de Codage transliteration Hnw was a symbol of the god Seker of Memphis, Egypt Memphis . Depending on the era or the prevailing dynasty of History of Ancient Egypt Egypt , the hennu boat sailed toward either dawn or dusk. In the Pyramid Texts of Unas PT 214, 138c one of the steps the deceased had to take, after leaving his property to his son, after purifying himself, etc. was You will descend on ropes of bronze, in the arms of Horus as his name is Being in the Hennu barque. On the holiday of the god Seker, a stone&mdash possibly a representation of the god&mdash was put on the Hennu barque and pulled with a sled over the fields, while people followed it wearing garlands of onions. A harpist s song from the tomb of Djehutimes TT 32 describes the practice as follows He pulled So kar by placing the Hennu barque on its sled, going around the walls with his following. At times the Hennu barque was identified with Seker himself, as in pKairo CG 51189 pYuya where it is stated I have appeared as Hennu. which is followed two lines below by this passage I have appeared as Sokar. Other divine barks The Neshmet The sun barks of Ra Re the morning bark, mandjet , and the evening bark, mesktet . (references: Dilwyn Jones, Boats , University of Texas Press 1995, ISBN 0292740395, p.35 / Margaret Alice Murray, Egyptian Religious Poetry , J. Murray 1949, p.  86  / Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians or Studies in Egyptian Mythology. Volume 1 , Adamant Media Corporation, ISBN 0543951715, p.  506  / M. Lurker, Lexikon der Götter und Symbole der alten gypter , Scherz 1998, p. 189 (source: www.tutorgigpedia.com (Site no longer exists) )
  4. In Egyptian mythology, the hennu boat (also henu, Manuel de Codage transliteration: Hnw) was a symbol of the god Seker of Memphis. Depending on the era or the prevailing dynasty of Egypt, the hennu boat sailed toward either dawn or dusk. In the Pyramid Texts of Unas (PT 214, 138c) one of the steps the deceased had to take, after leaving his property to his son, after purifying himself, etc. was: You will descend on ropes of bronze, in the arms of Horus as his name is "Being in the Hennu barque." On the holiday of the god Seker, a stone—possibly a representation of the god—was put on the Hennu barque and pulled with a sled over the fields, while people followed it wearing garlands of onions. A harpist's song from the tomb of Djehutimes (TT 32) describes the practice as follows: [He] pulled [So]kar by placing the Hennu barque on its sled, going around the walls with his following.
    At times the Hennu barque was identified with Seker himself, as in pKairo CG 51189 (pYuya) where it is stated: I have appeared as Hennu. which is followed two lines below by this passage: I have appeared as Sokar. (source: www.tutorgigpedia.com (Site no longer exists) )
  5. Geoff Graham: Sokar was undoubtedly originally a distinct deity of the Memphite necropolis: r3-sT3.w "Giza" (like the name of this List's server "Rostau" though I would have spelled if "Rosetjau") and pD.w "Saqqara", the modern name of which is believed to come from that of Sokar. There is a possibility that he was actually transplanted to the Memphite region from Busiris or some other Delta location. He represented the fertility that lies at the bottom of the underworld as well as the minerals and vegetal produce of the earth. He was carried on a boat known as the Henu-barque which had the form of a the crescent moon. His stellar manifestation was that of Orion.(http://www.rostau.org.uk)
  6. "It is said that The emblems of Sokar include his henu (hnw) barque, onions and geese. His barque represents solar triumphs and is set on a sledge. At its prow may be the head of an antelope or a bull. Along the edge of the hull of the barque may be int-fish and birds (falcons or swallows. In the center of the barque is a mound shaped chapel surmounted by his falcon head. At the stern are three or four rudder pins.  " See touregypt.net website for further information about Sokar   "The spirits of the dead were thought to join in the Festival of Sokar, which seems to have celebrated the power to journey between the realms of the living and the dead. The image of the god was dragged through the necropolis in his henu barque, a special boat decorated with images of fish and antelopes. Sokar was accompanied by five daughters of Ra in the form of geese" (Handbook of Egyptian Mythology by Geraldine Pinch. p203)
  7. "Another festival documented for this period is the Sokar Festival, (Bleeker (1967), 51-86; Gabbala and Kitchen (1969), For Sokar, see Brovarski (1984)) distinctive in this material for its Memphite context. It is attested on the Palermo Stone in connection with both the coronation and the foundation ritual and may also have had an originally agrarian reference. (Wilkinson (2000) 98 (Djer), 111, 246 (Den), 124 (Ninetjer). Wilkinson is not entirely convinced that it is the Sokar Festival, given that it is only written with a bark.) The main event of the Sokar Festival was the procession of the Henu bark around the temple walls. Prior to that, the ritual of "hacking the earth" also fond in the foundation ritual, (Guglielmi (1975)) was carried out. (Thutmose III, a new biography, p143)
  8. "The festival was given an abbreviated presentation in the Festival Hall. (Porter and Moss (1972) 115-116 (366)-(371); Barguet (1962( 183-184; Epigtaphic Survey (1940), pl. 228 (a-c). For other occurances of Sokar, see Porter and Moss (1972) 115-118, 363 (120); Barguet (1962) 182-90; and Naville (1895), pls. 10-11) The bark of Sokar is depicted carried by eight priests, with another priest, possibly the lector priest, walking alongside it. Four additions priests, all wearing headbands and carrying towing ropes, lead the procession. A portion of the shrine of the mummified falcon Sokar has been preserved in the depiction , along with texts possibly referring to "entering into the place of purification."(Barguet (1962) 184, cf. n. 4.) The king is shown turning nmst vases upside down, as a priest of Sokar and possibly a priestess stand by." (Thutmose III, a new biography, p143-144)
  9. "References to the Sokar Festival during this period coincide with the first examples of the funerary text, the Amduat. (Bleeker (1967) 56ff; Hornung (1999) 36-37. The text is reproduced in Bucher (1932) 23-29 and the translation in Hornung (1989) 93-115) The text describes the journey of the sun god in his bark through the well-defined geography of the underworld. The land of Sokar, comprising the regions of the fourth and fifth hours, is the transitional desert zone between the fertile fields of the living, still found in the second and third regions, and Nun and the body of Re-Osiris in the sixth hour. These hours are "necropolis zones," where the inhabitants can hear, but not see, the sun god as he passes. Interpreted as a region of latent but not actualized powers of renewal, it is suitably expressed in the figure of the mummified falcon and his companions, the canopic gods. The funerary character of this god makes his occurence apt in a mortuary setting such as the Deir el-Bahari temple. The depiction of this festival in the Karnak Temple area of Thutmose III suggests, however , that its agrarian character still made it suitable for royal cultic activities." (Thutmose III, a new biography, p144)

  10. Engraving of the Henu Barque temple carving published in 
    1809 in "Description de L'Egypte". Location of carving itself is  
    however it could easily be perceived as a rendition of the one at 
    the Temple of Rameses III at Medinet Habu . Image is in the 
    collection of Robert Temple and published in his book The 
    Sphinx Mystery , 2009, p358
  11. The god Seker was a form of the night sun, like Ptah, Osiris and Tanen; see Lanzone, Dizionario, P. 1113. (see also Wikipedia entry for basic information)

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