About Hapi, it is hard to tell if we talk about a god or a goddess since the deity is hermaphrodite. On the pictures, she/he is portrayed with plump busts but rest of his body and his clothing is masculine. She/he is the symbol of both the feminine and masculine side of nature. The Nile fertilises and nourishes Egypt so the river unites the fertilising masculine and nourishing feminine principles.

Hapi lives in the distant south, in a cave never seen by anyone under the sun and pours the water of the Nile from her/his carafes. Indirectly she/he is the one that feeds Egypt. When the Nile rose the people threw little statues of Hapi into the swelling water, which symbolised the next year’s harvest, bread, life itself for the Egyptian. Everything that happened on the day of the Nile’s rise was under the bless of Hapi.

The people of Egypt considered their wealth to be the bless of Hapi. The symbol of the union (sema-tawy), the interwoven papyrus and lotus is often tied together by Hapi.

Symbol of the Reunion (sema tawy) from Abu Simbel held by two Hapis (19th dynasty)
The sema-tawy, symbol of the Reunion. The beautiful cartouche of Rameses II's names has the special touch of unusual, artistic notation

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