Double amulet of the god Bes

An amulet with a double image of the god Bes. He is presented as a dwarf with long arms and short legs. His face brings to mind the image of a lion, characterized by a thick beard and impressive eyebrows which add to the disagreeable impression of the figure. On many occasions the god is represented with his tongue sticking out. This frontal image presents his arms falling down at his sides, and with his hands holding a bulging abdomen. The legs are separated revealing his sex organ.

Bes was a popular god whose origin was apparently in Africa. He is a good spirit with a grotesque appearance, a genie protector of pregnant women, those in labour and recently born infants. At the same time he protected the marriage, the household and looked after aspects related to love. He was also the god of cosmetics and feminine adornment. He protected men from malign influences, from reptiles and from deformed beings. He was also the god of music and as such could dance and play many instruments. He was the husband of Beset and, at times, of Taweret, whom he helped in labour and for this reason became the protector of births.

He is depicted naked, often with large genitals, with a large head, a flat nose and beard. He sticks out his tongue to fight off evil spirits, his principal task. One of the earliest statues of Bes is in the Temple of Hatshepsut.

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