Filler
Photo of Shira

 

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

The Raq-ettes

Inspired by Wendy Page

 

_____ by _____

 

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About this Artwork

The above 4,000-year-old image of dancers appears on an ancient Egyptian tomb wall. When I posted the above image on Facebook, my friend Wendy Page quipped, "The Raq-ettes: A Horus Line!"

This image of dancers appears on the wall of the tomb of Ka-Gmni at Saqqara, Egypt. The Saqqara tombs of Ka-Gmni, Mereruke, and Mehu contain the oldest images of dancers in the Middle East I've been able to discover so far in my research into belly dance history. (There could be even older ones out there, these are just the ones I've personally found so far.) They're older than the images at Luxor. I took this photo when I was there on February 13, 2016.

Ka-Gmni was the Chief Justice and Vizier to the Pharoah Teti. The sign on the tomb at Saqqara dates it as circa 2340 BCE.

For those who don't understand the puns in the above photo:

  • The Arabic word for dance is raqs, which sounds similar to the English word "rocks". The word "Raq-ettes" is a pun referencing the famous dance troupe "Rockettes" who perform in New York City at Radio City Music Hall.
  • In English, the term "chorus line" refers to a line of dancers who are performing a choreographed dance together. The Radio City Music Hall Rockettes are a chorus line. In ancient Egypt, the god Horus was the son of Isis and Osiris. So, the words "A Horus Line" are a pun, suggesting that these dancers from ancient Egypt are honoring Horus by dancing in a chorus line.

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