Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Why cows were sacred in the ancient world

Alice C. Linsley

Remains of domesticated cattle in Africa have been found at Capeletti, Algeria (c. 6500 BC), and at Nabta Playa and Bir Kiseiba (4000 BC). Early cattle remains have also been found at Wadi el-Arab (8500-6000 BC) and El Barga (6000-5500 BC).

The Ankole Longhorn (shown right) is a breed of cattle native to Africa. The name Ankole is possibly derived from the Nilotic cattle herders of southern Sudan and Uganda who are called Acholi. The Acholi are related to the East African Shilluk, another Nilotic people.

The Ankole's large horns can reach up to 8 feet (2.4 m) from tip to tip, and are used for defense. The horns also serve to cool the beast with the movement of blood through a honeycomb system of vessels.

The ancient Proto-Saharans venerated such cows. They imagined that the Y of the horns was a cradle for the sun, and they regarded the sun as the Creator's emblem.

The veneration of cows in Hinduism can be traced to the earlier Harappa civilization that recognized Horus as father. Har-appa means "Horus is father" in Proto-Dravidian. Images of Horus and cattle have been found as far east as Cambodia.

The Y also indicated the divinely appointed ruler. That is way the following Biblical figures have names with the initial Y (a solar symbol): Yaqtan (Joktan), Yishbak (son of Abraham by Keturah), Yitzak (Issac); Yishmael (Ishmael), Yosef (Joseph), and Yeshua (Joshua/Jesus).

The archetype of the Virgin Mary was called Hathor-Meri. Her totem was the longhorn cow. According to Horite mythology, she conceives Horus, the Seed of the Creator, by the overshadowing of the sun. This is why she is shown with the sun cradled between her horns.


In Nile shrines Hathor (later called Isis) is shown with her infant in a stable. In Eastern Orthodox icons the Virgin Mary is shown with the newborn Christ in a cave. This is a very ancient tradition based on the historical reality that the Horites of Edom (Gen. 36) kept their livestock in caves.

The Shilluk Kingdom in East Africa is situated along the banks of the White Nile. The Shilluk of southern Sudan call the Creator Jo-Uk. They believe that Jo-Uk made white people out of white sand and the Shilluk of out black dirt. When the Creator came to Egypt, he made the people there out of the Nile mud which is why the Egyptians are red-brown. Much of the soil of the Nile Valley is red or reddish brown due to the high levels of chromic cambisols which produce a strong brown or red color.

The sacred cow is an ancient motif among the Proto-Saharans, Nilotes, Kushites and many Sudanese tribes. Jo-Uk brought forth his only begotten son, Kola, by the Sacred White Cow. Kola was the father of Uk-wa who had two wives. One of Uk-wa's son's was Nyakang who became the first ruler.

Here we find a messianic idea of the Creator having an only begotten son who is to rule over a kingdom. We also find the practice of the ruler having two wives, as did all the ruler-priests among Abraham's Horite people.


Jason said...

Another great post on this most excellent blog!

Another point about the "Y" which I think you may have made before; it is also the Greek letter "Upsilon", and can be seen on many of the vestments in Icons. Of course, there is also the use of the Greek letter "Psi," which if I'm not mistaken is an ancient symbol found across many cultures; and is seen in many Icons as well.

I once read an interpretation which stated that the modern "Peace" symbol was an inversion of the ancient "Psi," which speaks of man's attempt to seek Peace outside of communion with God.

Alice C. Linsley said...

That's interesting, Jason. The Hippie generation certainly did as good job of inverting traditional American values.

Alice C. Linsley said...

The Y appears in the ancient Oasis North Arabian scripts, such as Hismaic, Thamudic B, Safaitic and Hasaitic. In Thamudic B the Y sometimes has an alternative form X, which suggests that Y and X are cross symbols related to the Sun's daily course, and therefore equivalent to T (tau).

DDeden said...

Horites of Edom (Gen. 36) kept their livestock in caves.

The Shahara of Oman kept their livestock in caves and in dome huts, they are the only continuous cattleherders of the Arabian peninsula. (per The road to Ubar)

Unknown said...

Mrs. Linsley,
Though Acholi and Ankole are both Uganda cattle keeper Nilotic tribes that originated from Sudan, they are nowadays two different groups. The Ankole, Anyankole or Banyankole live in the Western Uganda. The current President of Uganda, Kaguta Museveni is Ankole belongs to that tribe. To the contrary the Acholi live in the Northern Uganda. The former president General Tito Okello Lutwa belonged to this Acholi ethnic group.Check the links below:

Alice C. Linsley said...

Thank you for that information, Nawej. It appears that the western group have a 3-clan confederation: Ankole, Anyankole and Banyankole. Is that correct?

Thanks for the links. I will read the information carefully.

Unknown said...

Excellent Blog. Thank you for sharing.