Holy Cow

October 25, 2016 Comments Off on Holy Cow

Cows are ubiquitous in paleolithic and neolithic art and sacred still today in places like India. The Dogon Tribe, a stargazing culture, left abundant artwork at Nabta Playa attesting to a reverence for cows. Their descendants, the Ancient Egyptians, would later worship a cow goddess named Hathor.  Egyptian temple pillars are generally fluted with a lotus at top.  Hathor is the only deity to appear in the fluting of temple pillars. As Hathor’s cult developed from prehistoric cow cults it is not possible to say conclusively where devotion to her first took place. Dendera in Upper Egypt was a significant early site where she was worshiped as “Mistress of Dendera”.

 

Bull-horned goddess in the shape of a bee rendered on a stylized bull's head of bone. Bilcze Złote, northwestern Ukraine. Late Cucuteni, 4th millennium b.c.e.

Bull-horned goddess in the shape of a bee rendered on a stylized bull’s head of bone. Bilcze Złote, northwestern Ukraine. Late Cucuteni, 4th millennium b.c.e.

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Holy cows in Sudan.

Cow Profile – Caves at Lascaux / Upper Paleolithic, 15,300 b.c.e.

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Minoan Cow Mosaic / Crete, 1500 b.c.e.

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Cow & Spotted Horse - Caves at Lascaux / Upper Paleolithic, 15,300 b.c.e.

Cow & Spotted Horse – Caves at Lascaux / Upper Paleolithic, 15,300 b.c.e.

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Holy Cow / Water Color & Ink - Jen Taylor 2012

Egyptian Holy Cow in Blue / Water Color & Ink – Jen Taylor 2012

 

 

Mithilian Cow Goddess / Artwork - Jen Taylor

Mithilian Cow Goddess / Artwork – Jen Taylor

 

Kamadhenu, The Wish-Granting Cow Made in Rajasthan, India c. 1825-55 Artist/maker unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jodhpur or Nathadwara Opaque watercolor and metallic pigments on paper 5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm) This vision of Kamadhenu, the Wish-Granting Cow, combines the white zebu cow with the crowned frontal female face, colourful "eagle" wings, and peacock tail of Buraq, the animal that the prophet Muhammad rode to heaven in his night journey (Miraj). From at least the fifteenth century, Persian paintings showed Buraq with a horse's body, wings, and woman's face; the peacock tail may have been an Indian addition. Popular images of Kamadhenu in India today often show her as in this painting, which may be one of the earliest images to merge the visual characteristics of the Hindu Kamadhenu with the Islamic Buraq." Datecirca 1825-55 http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/88274.html?mulR=7702

Kamadhenu, The Wish-Granting Cow
Made in Rajasthan, India
c. 1825-55
Artist/maker unknown, India, Rajasthan, Jodhpur or Nathadwara
Opaque watercolor and metallic pigments on paper 5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
This vision of Kamadhenu, the Wish-Granting Cow, combines the white zebu cow with the crowned frontal female face, colourful “eagle” wings, and peacock tail of Buraq, the animal that the prophet Muhammad rode to heaven in his night journey (Miraj). From at least the fifteenth century, Persian paintings showed Buraq with a horse’s body, wings, and woman’s face; the peacock tail may have been an Indian addition. Popular images of Kamadhenu in India today often show her as in this painting, which may be one of the earliest images to merge the visual characteristics of the Hindu Kamadhenu with the Islamic Buraq.”
Date circa 1825-55
http://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/88274.html?mulR=7702

Hathor Fluted Pillars / Temple of Hathor - Philae, Aswan

Hathor Fluted Pillars / Temple of Hathor – Philae, Aswan

Jen Taylor

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