Egyptian Gender Differences

  • Created by: ktommo
  • Created on: 08-05-17 20:35
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  • Gender Differences
    • The main purpose of Egyptian art was to serve the needs of the elite.
      • Especially the king and his retainers.
      • Both in this life and the next.
    • In the typical New Kingdom tomb painting, relief or statue, males are dressed in kilts with perhaps a shirt while women wear tight-fitting sheath dresses.
      • Probably made from a single piece pf cloth wrapped around the body.
      • Archaeological examples of ancient Egyptian clothing demonstrate that the most common garment was a bad tunic.
        • This outfit was basically a linen bag with sleeves that fit very loosely.
        • Both men and women wore it.
    • In art, men wear an outfit that suggests freedom of movement while a woman's garment suggests restricted movement.
      • The typical female garment depicted in art could never match reality.
        • The dresses are so impossibly tight that a woman could not move,sit or walk.
        • The real intention behind this representation is to reveal the woman's body.
        • These dresses clearly reveal the overall female form and the pubic triangle.
      • Since the difference between everyday Egyptian reality and the presentation of people in art differ so radically, there must have been a reason for the difference.
    • Role of Men
      • Men are generally active rather than passive in tomb representations.
      • In Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom tombs, the deceased reach for offerings at the offering table or inspect agricultural labourers or workers under his control.
      • Artists also depicted men hunting birds or fishing.
      • They wear loose clothing and are the active principal in life.
      • These roles correspond to an Egyptian view of men actively winning a place for themselves in the afterlife.
    • Role of Women
      • The importance of women in Egyptian society is often conveyed in artwork found in temples and tombs.
      • The role of women in Egypt was that of life-giver and supporter.
      • The emphasis in art was on their role as mothers.
        • Because of this, women were often depicted wearing little or no clothing.
        • The artist's intention was not to portray eroticism but rather to symbolise reproduction.
      • Due to their connection with birth, women are most often found depicted on tombs, for the Egyptians considered the tomb a means to re-birth into the next world.
      • When labelled with their names in hieroglyphs, a figure of a woman could represent an individual wife, daughter, or cousin.
        • Many women represented in one tomb could be a means for a man to emphasise his wealth.


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