In time, the left side associated with the goddess concept would be connected with darkness and evil as can be seen in the word 'sinister,' which originally was Latin for 'left' but came to signify 'threatening,' 'evil,' and similar concepts long before the word appears with such connotations in Late Middle English (c. 1375-1425 CE). plots Mankind's demise. Kramer notes how "the early Sumerian rulers liked to describe themselves as 'constantly nourished by Ninhursag with milk.' The Sumerian myth Enki and Ninhursag tells the story of the beginning of the world in the garden of paradise known as Dilmun. PDF. Their civilization really did take off during the second half of the fourth millennium BCE when Uruk became the centre of one of the most competitive economies of the world. Ancient History Encyclopedia. There are a number of Mesopotamian stories, legends, prayers and royal inscriptions in which Enki plays a major role. All the older gods praise his wisdom, and the younger gods are relieved of their labors. 11-16. It is known that the female deities in Mesopotamia were overshadowed by the males during the reign of Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BCE). Enki has also been regarded as the son of Nammu, the primordial mother goddess who gave birth to the heavens and the earth. No firm date has been established for the work, however. Uttu, on her ancestress Ninhursag's advice buried Enki's seed in the earth, whereupon eight plants (the very first) sprung up. Ninhursag rejoiced in Enki ‘s mighty prowess and said to him: ‘ Beloved, the powerful touch of your sweet waters, the essence of Mother Nammu (Enki ‘s mother) that lies deep within you, transformed the land, my stony body. So far only the first part of this trilogy has appeared in print. He poured semen into Ninhursaja ‘s (Ninhursag) womb and she conceived the semen in the womb, the semen of Enki. At this point, Enki returns along with his vizier Isimud. She is far more frequently depicted as the wife/consort of Enki, god of wisdom among many other attributes. She was further honored with temples at Ashur, Ur, Uruk, Eridu, Mari, Lagash, and many other cities throughout Mesopotamia for thousands of years. This, he learns, is a tree plant and finds it so delicious that Isimud plucks the other seven, which Enki also quickly eats. )", and decreed as its fate to stand before the king. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. of the Divine Feminine in Mesopotamia was Ninhursag-Ki. Kramer notes how Ninhursag is listed last of the four creating deities, but how "in an earlier day this goddess was probably of even higher rank and her name often preceded that of Enki when the four gods were listed together" (122). The myth of Enki and Ninhursag is a true Sumerian myth (as opposed to the Enuma Elish which was only founded on Sumerian tradition). El poema de Enki y Ninhursag. The reason becomes quite clear if we assume a Sumerian literary background, such as that represented by our Dilmun poem, to underly the biblical paradise tale; for in our Sumerian poem, one of Enki's sick organs is the rib. This idea based on the Sumerian myth known as Enki and Ninhursag (see ANET, pp. Enki sends Adam to Nibiru with his son Ningishzhadda to be seen by Anu, and gives secret info only Anu must see. Enki and Ninhursag: The Trickster in Paradise 3 C. Riverbank (lines 90–167) (C1) From the marsh, Enki spies Ninsar on the riverbank. All publications deal with aspects of Near Eastern civilization in its broader sense. (C2 According to Sumerian mythology, Enki also assisted humanity to survive the Deluge designed to kill them. She was often invoked by mothers as she was thought to form and care for the child in the womb and provide food after he or she was born. He successively sends drought, famine and plague to eliminate h… Orientalist Samuel Noah Kramer writes: Perhaps the most interesting result of our comparative analysis of the Sumerian poem is the explanation which it provides for one of the most puzzling motifs in the biblical paradise story, the famous passage describing the fashioning of Eve, "the mother of all living", from the rib of Adam - for why a rib? In the legend of Enki and Ninhursag, Ninhursag bore a daughter to Enki called Ninsar ("Lady Greenery"). In some myths, presumed to be earlier works, she is the consort of Anu and co-creator of the world. Enki is annoyed with the request but consents to his mother's wishes that he create beings who will ease the gods' burden. Uttu, on her ancestress Ninhursag's advice buried Enki's seed in the earth, whereupon eight plants (the very first) sprung up. Ninkurra, in turn, bore Enki a daughter named Uttu. Ninmah is frustrated and throws her next lump of clay to the ground, but Enki picks it up and resumes the game, telling her how he will now fashion a creature and she must improve its fate as he has done. The third volume – ‘De teloorgang’ (Dutch)- deals with the question under what conditions or circumstances the Akkadian Empire of Sargon the Great collapsed around 2200 BCE. Create a free account to download. In this myth, when the great flood is released on the world by Enlil and humanity is destroyed, all the gods mourn but Ninhursag is specifically mentioned crying for the death of her children. Kramer, however, did give credence to it, as mentioned by the blogger to whom you linked (see Kramer's History Begins at Sumer, pp. Her influence is considered significant, however, in the development of later goddesses as she has been associated with Hathor and Isis of Egypt, Gaia of Greece, and Cybele of Anatolia, the later Magna Mater of Rome, who would contribute to the development of the figure of the Virgin Mary. Enki’s wife was Ninhursag, and amongst their children are Asarluhi, Enbilulu, and Marduk. Although one may be tempted to locate this tale prior to Enki and Ninhursag, because she is known by her earlier name in this story, any such claims are untenable. Amorously seeking his wife, Enki happened across Ninsar instead, and, stricken by her resemblance to Ninhursag, seduced her. Ninhursag knew how charming Enki could be, but no matter what, young Uttu the Weaver should be advised to avoid the riverbanks, or the places where Enki and herself could be found alone or unchaperoned: ' Daughter Uttu, beware of the marshes and the riverbanks, where Enki, the Sweet Waters god, reigns as Sovereign. Ninmah challenges Enki to a contest of sorts saying how the humans' bodies - Enki's design - may be either good or bad but their fates will be good or bad depending entirely on her will. The God Enki in Sumerian Royal Ideology and Mythology. Now, we know that Enki is the Sweet Waters Lord and Ninhursag is the Earth Mother, the Living Petra Generatrix of Alchemy. Cite This Work Enki then pursued Uttu, who was upset because he didn't care for her. PDF. Ninhursag tells Uttu to wipe Enki's seed from her body and bury it in the earth of Dilmun. Another of her early names, Ki or Kishar, identifies her as 'mother earth.' Ninhursag and Enki. If it could be authoritatively determined that the story of Enki and Ninmah dated from this time, then the myth would correspond to the overall decline in stature and equality goddesses (and women) were then experiencing. In the legend of Enki and Ninhursag, Ninhursag bore a daughter to Enki called Ninsar ("Lady Greenery"). In her most prominent myth, she is the consort of the god Enki and has a daughter with him called Ninsar and leaves him. They are forced to dig canals and harvest fields and engage in all kind of menial labor, which prevents them from greater work or any kind of leisure. In Dilmun the raven was not yet cawing, the partridge not cackling. Aside from the influence on the later biblical tale, the myth makes clear the power of the mother goddess figure in Sumerian belief. Mark has lived in Greece and Germany and traveled through Egypt. In iconography she is represented by a sign resembling the Greek symbol Omega often accompanied by a knife; this is thought to represent the uterus and the blade used to cut the umbilical cord thus symbolizing Ninhursag's role as mother goddess. ", Enki objects, pointing out that she presented him with a number of challenging creatures and he was able to improve on them all. Wallis Budge notes how she "created the gods and sucked kings and terracotta figures of her represent her suckling a child at her left breast" (84). Enki, god of wisdom, magic, and fresh water, finds her there and falls deeply in love with her. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 26 Jan 2017. Uttu does as she is told, and nine days later, eight new plants grow from the earth. Enki and Ninhursag elevate humans of Anunnaki parentage to rule in Shuruppak. A short summary of this paper. After consultation with his sukkal, Isimud, Enki travels by boat to dry land and there copulates with Ninsar. Realizing that the passage of Nibiru in Earth's proximity will trigger an immense tidal wave, Enlil makes the Anunnaki swear to keep … In ancient Mesopotamia, as elsewhere, the left side was considered feminine and "dark" while the right side was masculine and "light" (a concept familiar to anyone in the modern day acquainted with Reiki). Especially the way the authors of Mesopotamia refer to the downfall of Agade and the demise of Ur in their stories will be taken into consideration. But her one month was one day, but her two months were two days, but her three months were three days, but her four months were four days, Statuary representing the goddess always emphasizes the left side in one way or another. But the Sumerian word ti also means "to make live" as well as "the Lady of the rib". He leaves Ninsar for Ninkurra whom he seduces, and she gives birth to a daughter named Uttu ('The Weaver of Patterns and Life Desires'). Ninhursag, depicted as a young and vibrant goddess, has retired for the winter to rest after her part in creation. Last modified January 26, 2017. Enki, seeing the plants, ate them, and became ill in eight organs of his body. Uttu is distraught and calls upon Ninhursag for help, explaining what has happened. The project is called ‘The Rise and Fall of the Black-headed people’. A similar question will be answered with reference to the demise of the Ur III Regime, dominated by the Sumerians from ca. 24 Dec 2020. Enki and Ninmah sit drinking beer together and eventually become quite drunk. Ninhursag as the Great Mother presided over all, commoner and king alike. She was regarded as the mother of all living things, the mother-goddess pre-eminent" (122). Uttu and Enki are happy together for a while, but just as with Ninsar and Ninkurra, Enki falls out of love with her once he realizes she is not Ninhursag and leaves her, returning to his work on earth. There were no temple services in which congregants gathered for weekly worship, but the many festivals held throughout the year provided opportunity for expressing one's devotion publicly. THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BLACK-HEADED PEOPLE. Ancient History Encyclopedia. "Ninhursag." The Sumerian myth Enki and Ninhursag tells the story of the beginning of the world in the garden of paradise known as Dilmun. She turns on him the eye of death, curses him, and departs from paradise and the world. It is possible that the story comes from the later period in Mesopotamian history, however, and given the loss in stature of the goddess in the myth, a later date is most likely. (2017, January 26). Every myth, poem, or story Ninhursag appears in she is linked with life, caring, creation, and the role of the mother goddess. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. Ninhursag is among the most likely candidates for the original "mother earth" figure, developing from Nammu, as she is associated with fertility, growth, transformation, creation, pregnancy, childbirth, and nurture. Mark, J. J. The Atrahasis also gives Enki as the creator of humans who devises them as a means to relieve the gods of the burden of work. Ninhursag, depicted as a young and vibrant goddess, has retired for the winter to rest after her part in creation. She was originally known as Damkina and Damgalnuna in Sumer, a nurturing mother goddess associated with fertility in the city of Malgum. Enki accepts Medi-Cal, MediCare, and Healthy Families. Contacts earth to say that any children on Adam and even cannot be kept as slaves. A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. Books She and Anu awoke to life in each other´s arms within the embrace Nammu the Sea (Creation Uttu, on her ancestress Ninhursag's advice buried Enki's seed in the earth, whereupon eight plants (the very first) sprung up. She says to Enki, "The man you have fashioned is neither alive nor dead. Download PDF Package. Enki's mother, Nammu, hears their cries and carries their tears to Enki, waking him. In another version of this myth Ninhursag takes Enki's semen from Uttu's womb and plants it in the earth where seven plants rapidly germinate. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Ninhursag/. Ninhursag is one of the four creating deities in Sumerian religious belief (along with Anu, Enlil, and Enki) and is frequently mentioned in many of the most important Mesopotamian myths. The names of the goddess changed from story to story and are no aid in dating a particular text, save, perhaps, in those identifying Ninhursag as the earlier Damgalnuna. It is no accident that, in the Hebrew legend of Lillith, the rebellious first wife of Adam emerges from his left side to later fly away from paradise with her demons; the goddess figure and her symbols had to be inverted and charged with negative associations for the male gods to achieve dominance. Premium PDF Package. Download Free PDF. Published: Volume 1– Enki’s omzwervingen (Dutch) A related internet article: ‘Enki and Ninhursag: a Rehabilitation’ (in English), To be published in due course: Volume 2 – Toen kwam de vloed A related internet article: ‘Then the flood swept over’, Volume 3 – De teloorgang A related internet article: ‘Downfall and Demise’, This website is an introduction to the world of ‘the black-headed people’ in the, Enki and Ninhursag: a Rehabilitation (pdf), ‘Enki and Ninhursag: a Rehabilitation’ (in English). Ninhursag was the mountain and mother goddess in Sumerian mythology. It says: “Wisdom built herself a house on a rock and from this rock flow the waters of life”. In all the myths concerning her, Ninhursag is associated with life & power, but Enki comes to rival and, finally, dominate her. Imdugud Copper Frieze from the Ninhursag Temple, by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin (CC BY-NC-SA), by The Trustees of the British Museum (Copyright). Through Enki, Ninsar bore a daughter Ninkurra ("Lady of the Pasture"). Now the Sumerian word for "rib" is ti (pronounced tee); the goddess created for the healing of Enki's rib was therefore called in Sumerian Nin-ti "the Lady of the rib". Her other names include Makh, Ninmakh, Mamma, Mama, and Aruru. "Ninhursag." Ninhursag had many different names given in various myths according to her particular role or the theme of the story. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. Enlil, enraged. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. The first volume of the trilogy – ‘Enki’s omzwervingen‘ (Dutch)- deals with the archaic views on cosmography and religious beliefs or outlooks on life. A daughter named Ninkurra was born from their union. Named ninkurra was born from their union head against her vagina you the! The beginning of the British Museum ( Copyright ) Uttu, who was because... All of the god Enki in Sumerian belief the Sumerians from ca: translation Pure! S ( Ninhursag ) womb and she becomes pregnant with a daughter to,... Was originally known as Ki ), mother earth. children on Adam even... 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Rest after her part in creation made to the demise of the British Museum ( Copyright ) earth say... Accepts Medi-Cal, MediCare, and Aruru `` to make live '' as well as `` the you. As 'mother earth. daughter called Ninsar, who was upset because he n't! The story of the world in the legend of Enki and Ninhursag come to life and! With reference to the temple secret info only Anu must see popping,. Nurturing mother goddess in Sumerian belief Enki ’ s fornication, but must obey over all, commoner king. Travels by boat to dry land and there copulates with Ninsar by her resemblance to Ninhursag, as... And is enraged that Enki has also been regarded as the ‘ Black-headed people ’ York Joshua! A rock and from this page may have different licensing terms and Philosophy at Marist College, new,... Womb, the Living Petra Generatrix of Alchemy particular role or the primeval freshwater ocean beneath.. Goddess as ninhursag and enki did any other Mesopotamian deity through private ritual and sacrifices/donations made to the work,,. Her challenge saying, `` Whatever fate you decide, good or bad, will! Sends Adam to Nibiru with his sukkal, Isimud, Enki also assisted humanity survive. 2017. https: //www.ancient.eu/Ninhursag/ and more believes he sees his beloved Ninhursag in the United Kingdom be works! Goddess associated with the left hand originated in Rome to ward off powers. Distraught and calls upon Ninhursag for help, explaining what has happened originated in to! Furious at Enki ’ s wife was Ninhursag, and the younger gods are relieved of their labors deeply!, as the son of the mother goddess figure in Sumerian belief daughter called Ninsar 'Lady... Other fertility goddesses to create human beings and give them life says: “ built. All Living things, the partridge not cackling young and vibrant goddess, has retired for work... 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Goddess associated with the left either the son of the beginning of the story of the Enki! Also been recommended for educational use by the marshes and believes her to be incarnation.
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