Intelligent, ambitious, pious, intriguing, Queen Yahmesu’s daughter took over the throne of Egypt. We talk to you about the most influential women in antiquity.
The Titles of Hatshepsut
Irry pat Noble Lady
Uret imat Great of Grace
Uret hezut Great of praise
Mary Ntjer Loved by God
Djeret Ntjer Hand of God
Sat Râ Daughter of Ra (God)
Horot The female Horus
Nabint Tawy Mistress of the Two Lands (Upper and Lower Egypt)
Henut Tawy Sovereign of the two Lands
Henut net Tawu nebu Sovereign of all countries
Henut Ta tem Sovereign of the whole Earth
Hatshepsut, quintessence of the African woman
Anchored in the African matriarchal tradition, Egypt had always given, from the beginning, a decisive place to women. When Naré Mari (Narmer) unified Lower Egypt and Upper Egypt 5300 years ago, it was a woman who was his Djaty (prime minister). It is this woman who founded the Pharaonic power as it existed for 3000 years. The Pharaoh’s wife bore the title of Sovereign of Egypt and was very often associated with the management of the State. Egypt had just waited its 3rd or 5th pharaoh of the first dynasty to see a woman assuming full powers; it was Marynit, the first woman head of state in human history.
Siptah Neith-Iqereti (Nitocris) of the 6th dynasty and Sobek Neferu of the 12th dynasty will also gain access to the supreme function. But in reality, it was the events related to the emergence of the 18th dynasty that would allow the most important queen to rise.
Hatshepsut, heiress of the founders of the 18th dynasty
After 200 years of occupation by foreign peoples called Hyksos, Pharaoh Yahmesu Nebpehtyre led the decisive liberation war and founded the prestigious 18th dynasty. The role of his grandmother Tetisheri, his mother Akhotpu and his sister-wife Yahmesu Neferet-Iry was decisive in this victory. True leaders and warlords, these 3 female sovereigns have even more seated the place of women in the exercise of power.
Thus, Akhotpu II, daughter of Yahmesu Neferet-Iry, and Yahmesu daughter of Akhotpu II, were considered as queens of foreground by the people. Hatshepsut daughter of Yahmesu was therefore the heiress of these five great women and had a special attachment to the figure of her great-grandmother Yahmesu Neferet-Iry.
Daughter of Queen Yahmesu and Pharaoh Aakheperkaré Djehuty-Mesu (Thutmose I), Hatshepsut was the only child of her mother to survive. Her brothers Imana-Mesu, Madji-Mesu and her sister Neferukheb died at a young age. The name of the queen means The first of the noble ladies, mistress of the Initiated. Her second name Henemt-Imana means The one who unites with God. She was initiated to the secrets of African Spirituality by her nurse Sat-Ra.
Gifted, she had talents in poetry, religion and engineering at the age of 8 years. Very early she led the religious processions. She even had the idea of creating an artificial lake to cope with the floods of the Nile. Amazed by the talents of his child, the very pious Aakheperkaré associated her with the management of the country and travelled with her for his political and religious missions. At the end of his life, the pharaoh reigned with his daughter, under the kindness of Queen Yahmesu.
Accession to the throne
Hatshepsut had more legitimacy to the throne than her own father, who although son of Pharaoh, was not a child of a queen of Egypt. Aakheperkaré then crowned her and married her to his son Djehuty-Mesu Neferkhau (Thutmose II), born from a secondary wife. Neferkhau was considered more than anything as Hatshepsut’s husband. Being sick and overweight, he let her ensure the essential of the management of the State. The second regency of Hatshepsut, after that with her father, lasted 12 to 15 years. From her union with her brother was born a girl named Neferuré, who, ambitious, did not live long enough to become queen.
On the death of Pharaoh Neferkhau, the appointed heir, his son Menkheperrè Djehuty-Mesu (Thutmose III) was young and it returned to Hatshepsut to assume the regency. With the support of the clergy, the legitimacy of her lineage and the testament of her father who had crowned her, she was confirmed head of state by the priests.
Hatshepsut Henemt-Imana took the name of Maatkaré (Maat is the incarnation of the Ka of God). But a few years later, she posed two major and controversial acts that would turn her into an entire pharaoh.
Hatshepsut, the daughter of God
Engraved for eternity in the temple of Deir el Bahari, Hatshepsut had the myth of her miraculous birth written. In a magnificent fictionalized story, the divinity Djehuty (Thoth) would have come to announce to her mother Yahmesu that she would give birth to an exceptional king. Imana (God) would have taken the appearance of her father Aakheperkaré to impregnate her mother Yahmesu. Hatshepsut would therefore be the direct child of God. This birth and its parallels with the story of the birth of Jesus who is a copy have been detailed here.
The female Horus
In the African tradition, if it is the woman who bears the legitimacy of power, it is her son who exercises it. Horus son of God is the embodiment of power. If women were often allowed to reign, they were forbidden to take the title of Horus, no more than a man could be likened to Isis (queen-mother). Hatshepsut broke with tradition and took the title of Horus, to the point of representing herself on the engravings as a man.
We can draw a parallel with Queen Nzinga of Angola, the greatest nemesis of the European slave traders, who would present herself as a man. Horot (female Horus) was therefore one of Hatshepsut’s titles. From this point of view, it is a usurpation. Through this, through her direct affiliation with the Creator, the support of the majority of the clergy, by putting her son-in-law and nephew Menkheperrè away from the throne, the very religious Hatshepsut imposed her undeniable power.
The reign of Hatshepsut
The 22 years of Hatshepsut’s reign were a time of peace and prosperity for Egypt. Pacifist, she did not have the imperialist ambitions like part of the clergy and her nephew Menkheperrè. Nonetheless she led victorious military campaigns, particularly in Sudan. But there are two major acts that have marked the power of the ultimate woman-pharaoh.
The expedition to the Holy Land
“By the voice of my mother Aminata dressed in her starry adornment, my father Imana has instructed me to cleanse his sanctuary of Ipet Sout with the incense of the land of Punt which alone will animate the divine statue which rests majestically in the holy Saints of the Hut Ntjer “.
Maatkarè Hatshepsut justified by this passage her famous pilgrimage to the interior of Africa. Aminata (feminine part of God) would have asked her to collect incense from the country of Punt to bring to life the statue of Imana which was located in the Hut Ntjer (temple of God) in Ipet Sout (Karnak). The other purpose of the journey was to tour Africa and map the continent.
After Pharaoh Sahure and Sankhkara Mentuhotep centuries earlier, the Queen decided to travel to Ta Ntjer (the Land of God) where the Egyptians came from. Today we know with almost certainty that Ta Ntjer is the Great Lakes and Southern Africa, from South Africa to southern Sudan-Ethiopia, through DR Congo and Tanzania. The Beninese Egyptologist Jean Charles Coovi Gomez argues convincingly that Punt, a country located in Ta Ntjer, is Uganda.
3000 people were assigned to the design of the trip and 30 left from Egypt. The expedition was led by a Sudanese. After crossing the Red Sea and skirting the East African coast, the five ships arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. Then they took another route (land or river?) To reach Uganda.
The return of the expedition to the country was an absolutely triumphal event. The team brought back incense, gold, aromatic resins, dogs, monkeys, panthers, cattle, plants, etc … This expedition was considered by Hatshepsut as a high point of her life.
Djeser Djeseru, the greatest architectural work of Hatshepsut
If there is a building that is associated with the pharaoh, it is the Djeser Djeseru, that is to say, the magnificent of the magnificents, a temple dedicated to God and the deities Inpu (Anubis) and Hut Horo (Hathor). It is located in a locality today called Der el Bahari in Arabic. Djeser Djeseru amazes by its beauty and harmony which makes it a unique construction.
3 successive terraces linked by gently sloping stairs. A building partly cut in the rock. An old succession of sphinxes, statues and engravings. A long walk of 800 meters between the landing stage on the Nile and the entrance of the temple. It was built by Sen n Mut, a multidisciplinary scientist of genius and the favorite official of the Queen. Sen n Mut settled on one of the garden terraces and incense plants brought from Punt.
End of reign and inheritance
The last years of Hatshepsut were marked by an inexorable rise of Menkheperrè towards the power. He had with him a faction of the clergy. The 2 regents are represented with the royal crown, Menkheperrè Djehuty-Mesu standing a few steps behind his aunt.
At the death of Hatshepsut, the greatest African in history gave her a funeral worthy of her rank. But a few years later, he had all the references making her a Horus destroyed. The sculptures and relative engravings were stalled, probably to correct what was perceived as a serious violation of tradition.
For having brilliantly led and been the most important woman of the most defining civilization in human history, Maatkare Hatshepsut Henemt-Imana is the most influential woman in the history of antiquity, the black woman who had the most power in human history.
By : Lisapo ya Kama © (All rights reserved. Any reproduction of the text of this article is strictly forbidden without the written approval of Lisapo ya Kama)
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