Nani e pigmei per il faraone

Quando Pepy II era ancora un fanciullo amava ascoltare i racconti narrati da uomini coraggiosi che avevano viaggiato per terre sconosciute. Uomini che dai loro viaggi erano tornati carichi di oggetti preziosi e di tante avventure da raccontare.

Tra questi uno in particolare affascinava il futuro faraone: Herkhuf il governatore di Elefantina che effettuò parecchie spedizioni in Nubia. Ne troviamo testimonianza grazie all’autobiografia incisa sulla facciata della sua maestosa tomba.

Da ogni spedizione Herkhuf ritornava con beni di ogni genere: ebano, pelli di pantera, zanne di elefante, olii e incensi.

Quello che affascinò maggiormente Pepi II fu il ritrovamento di un pigmeo proveniente dalla regione degli Abitanti dell’Orizzonte che si trovava in Nubia.

Si diceva che fosse un essere eccezionale, paragonabile soltanto a un altro famoso pigmeo del passato, quello appartenuto al faraone Isesi e proveniente dalla terra di Punt.

Pepy II scrisse a Herkhuf invitandolo a recarsi immediatamente presso la residenza reale portando con se il pigmeo, raccomandandosi che durante il viaggio nulla capitasse di grave al piccolo essere.
A quel tempo i pigmei e i nani erano considerati degli esseri divini, quasi “magici” proprio per le loro fattezze.

Vivevano alla corte del re ed avevano il compito di danzare per ingraziarsi le divinità e allietare il faraone.

Solitamente erano chiamati pigmei (deneg) gli uomini provenienti dall’Africa, differenti dai nani(nemu) che dovevano il loro aspetto ad una sorta di malformazione. I pigmei costituivano una razza a sé, perfettamente sana e proporzionata.

Il fatto che racchiudessero nei loro piccoli corpi tutte le facoltà di uomo, donava a loro un’aura di magia e fu proprio per questo che gli egizi nutrivano verso di loro un amore pari al rispetto dovuto a degli semidei.

Dopo la missiva inviata da Pepy II, gli uomini del governatore di Elefantina, ebbero l’ordine di controllare il pigmeo notte e giorno; dovevano soprattutto evitare che un movimento brusco della barca lo facesse cadere in acqua.

Per tutto il viaggio alcuni marinai dovettero dormire vicino a lui controllando anche di giorno che non se ne andasse pericolosamente in giro per la barca. Insomma, una sorta di moderna scorta.
Il viaggio andò a buon fine e Pepy II fu certamente molto generoso con Herkhuf.

Tra i nani che vissero nell’Antico Regno, alcuni divennero molto famosi, come Seneb che sposò una sacerdotessa di statura normale.

Nano Seneb
La Famiglia del nano Seneb Gruppo statuario in calcare alto 33 centimetri, ritrovato a Giza nella tomba dello stesso Seneb.

Gli egizi non avevano nessun pregiudizio nei confronti di questi uomini sfortunati nel fisico, anzi Seneb ebbe una brillante carriera pubblica, tra l’altro fu anche nominato capo del guardaroba reale e sacerdote dei culti funerari di Cheope e Djedefre.

61 pensiero su “Nani e pigmei per divertire il faraone”
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