Images de page

good tracings.

Coh is portrayed without weapons, his fists clinched, looking menacingly at his foe, who holds three spears, typical of the three wounds he inflicted in his brother's back when he killed him treacherously.

Coh is now laid out, being prepared for cremation. (Plate L.) His body has been opened under the ribs to extract the viscera and the heart, which, after being charred, are to be preserved in a stone urn with cinnabar, where the writer found them in 1875. His sister-wife, Queen Móo, in sad contemplation of the remains of her beloved, ozil in Maya, and his second sister, Niké (the flower), kneeling at his feet, recall vividly the picture of Isis (Mau) and her sister Niké lamenting over the body of their much loved brother Ozir-is. Coh's children and mother stand by him in affliction. One of the children, probably the eldest, carries the band which is to be wrapped round the chest and waist to hide the gash made for the extraction of those parts regarded as vital organs, and which are to be preserved and placed in the tomb with the statue of the deceased. Another, who seems to be a girl, holds in her hands and contemplates with sadness the brains of the dead hero. These are to be kept in a separate urn. The youngest child is pictured with the heart of his father in his right hand. He is crying. The grandmother comes last. All the figures in this tableau are represented naked or nearly so; for in Mayach, as in India and Egypt, the presence of a dead body polluted those present, who had to submit to purification by appropriate ceremonies.1 The winged serpent, protective genius of the

"The presence of a corpse defiles those who come near it."—ManavaDharma-Sastra, lib. v., Sloka 62.

"He who has touched a corpse purifies himself by bathing."—Ibid., v., Sloka 85.

"The death of a parent or relative causes one to become defiled."


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


« PrécédentContinuer »