Tut Exhibit - King Tutankhamun Exhibit, Collection: Statues, Sculptures and Containers - Statuette of the God Ihy

The Tutankhamun Exhibit

Statues, Sculptures and Containers

Statuette of the God Ihy

Statuette of the God Ihy

Among the many representations of the traditional gods of the Egyptian pantheon that were in the Treasury, there were two of the god Ihy. One of the few deities to be shown without clothes, Ihy is the son of the goddess Hathor. Made of wood covered with a dark resin, the figure holds a gilded sistrum in his right hand. His eyebrows have been gilded, and the whites and pupils of his eyes are indicated. He is depicted with the sidelock of youth, the traditional coiffure for this young god. The coloration, symbolizing the fertile soil, may indicate his association with rebirth.

While Ihy is often referred to in the literature as the god of music, his role here is clearly funerary. He is a friendly god, one who will protect the deceased against any of the demons or evil deities who might act against him. In the Coffin Texts (a body of funerary spells, recorded on the inner walls of coffins, which formed the basis of the Book of the Dead), Ihy is referred to as one of the manifestations of the deceased (Spell 334) - one of the gods into which the dead person is transformed. Tutankhamun would also travel with Ihy across the horizon. Ihy is a sky god because his mother was Hathor, a goddess who had celestial associations. He is also one of the divinities addressed by the deceased when pronouncing the "negative confession" (Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead). If he were judged acceptable, he would then enter into the Afterlife.