Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The Opening of the Mouth Ceremony


The Opening of the Mouth Ceremony: The mummy was dragged on a sledge to the tomb, with a canopy over it resembling the sky and stars. Behind, a funeral procession would bear food and drink, furniture and personal possessions, while mourning women wept and shrieked. At the tomb entrance, the mummy would be stood upright briefly while priests performed the last ritual ceremonies. While some words were read out loud by a lector-priest, another priest would touch gently the eyes, nose, lips, ears, hands and feet of the coffin with a model carpernter´s adze, as though lifting the wood of the coffin at these places to permit the senses to function. This is called the ´Opening of the Mouth´ ceremony... The coffin would then be lowered into the tomb, and surrounded by burial objects, then the entrance would be sealed. Often a series of clay cones bearing the owner´s name and title would be pushed into the mud plaster.
´My mouth is open! My mouth is split open by Shu with that metal spear of his that he used to split open the mouth of the gods. I am the Powerful One. I shall sit beside her who is in the great breath of the sky!´

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