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In Egyptian mythology, Bes (also known as Bisu) was a hideously ugly dwarf god who guarded against evil spirits and misfortune. He was the protector of the pharaohs and a god of children, pleasure, music and dance. He was a household deity, responsible for protecting homes through such tasks as killing snakes, fighting off evil spirits, watching after children, encouraging fertility and aiding women in labor (in conjunction with the goddess Tawaret). Images of the god were kept in homes to ward off evil.

He was depicted quite differently from the other gods, who were shown in profile in two-dimensional pictures. Bes instead appears full-face in an ithyphallic style, with a long tongue, bow legs and some feline body parts. He was sometimes shown dressed in a soldier's tunic, or with a lion's head.

It is thought that he may have been imported from Nubia during the period of the Middle Kingdom, when he first appeared in a form that suggests that he was originally a cat-god (the Egyptians kept cats to kill harmful snakes, amongst other things). His name is connected with African words for cat. The worship of Bes was exported overseas, as he proved popular with the Phoenicians.

Beset was a feminine form of Bes.


  • Wikipedia. (2005). Bes. Retrieved on 03/01/2005.

Document Source

  • This page was originally sourced from Thelemapedia. Retrieved May 2009.