Ivory Clapper

1977.109.19

On display

Ivory clapper made from the curved outer section of a tusk. Terminating in the head of the goddess Hathor and a hand. Pierced at the base. One of a pair discovered during John Garstang's 1908 excavations at Abydos, with the other from tomb 541 A'08 now on display in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo (no. 39765). Repaired and consolidated. Clappers or hand wands such as this one were used by dancers who clapped them together. They also had protective significance as the noise produced by clacking the wands together was believed to keep evil spirits away during critical moments such as childbirth or puberty rituals. Their protective power also accompanied the ritual renewal of the king’s vigour during the Heb Sed Festival and assisted in the rebirth of a deceased person into the afterlife.