2010. 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. Enki's Adult services are aimed at promoting recovery and stability for community living, helping the client to achieve higher levels of functioning, enhancing the quality of life and encouraging a return to work, school, volunteering, or other meaningful activity. Contacts earth to say that any children on Adam and even cannot be kept as slaves. They cry out to Enki to do something to help them, but Enki, represented as a supreme god, is resting after the effort of creation and will not wake. In the legend of Enki and Ninhursag, Ninhursag bore a daughter to Enki called Ninsar ("Lady Greenery"). Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. It was this, one of the most ancient of literary puns, which was carried over and perpetuated in the biblical paradise story, although there, of course, the pun loses its validity, since the Hebrew words for "rib" and "who makes live" have nothing in common. Enki impregnates the goddess Ninhursag " the mother of ' the land '," who after nine days of pregnancy gives birth, without pain or effort, to the goddess Ninmu 1:-'R (lines 73-88). 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. Ninhursag returns and is enraged that Enki has eaten all of the plants. Ninmah's response to this is lost because the tablet is broken at this point, but when the story resumes, Enki is obviously the winner of the challenge, and the work ends with the lines, "Ninmah could not rival the great lord Enki. A freelance writer and former part-time Professor of Philosophy at Marist College, New York, Joshua J. The influence of this metropolitan city in the delta of the Euphrates and the Tigris ranged from the cities in western India to the upper reaches of those rivers in Anatolia. 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. Through Enki, Ninsar bore a daughter Ninkurra ("Lady of the Pasture"). After consultation with his sukkal, Isimud, Enki travels by boat to dry land and there copulates with Ninsar. Enki, god of wisdom, magic, and fresh water, finds her there and falls deeply in love with her. 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. The cosmogenic myth common in Sumer was that of the hieros gamos, a sacred marriage where divine principles in the form of dualistic opposites came together as male and female to give birth to the cosmos. Ninkurra, in turn, bore Enki a daughter named Uttu. Ninhursag rejoiced in Enki's mighty prowess and said to him: ' Beloved, the powerful touch of your sweet waters, the essence of Mother Nammu that lies deep within you, transformed the land, my stony body. In his wife’s absence, Enki mistook the girl for Ninhursag and seduced her. Enki accepts her challenge saying, "Whatever fate you decide, good or bad, I will improve it.". 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). PDF. Pure is Sumer -- and you are the ones to whom it is allotted. A short summary of this paper. Related Content The God Enki in Sumerian Royal Ideology and Mythology. Lord of the Waters. She was further honored with temples at Ashur, Ur, Uruk, Eridu, Mari, Lagash, and many other cities throughout Mesopotamia for thousands of years. ENKI AND NINHURSAG U N D E R C O N S T R U C T I O N THE RISE AND FALL OF THE BLACK-HEADED PEOPLE This website is an introduction to the world of ‘the black-headed people’ in the Ancient Near East, the cradle of classic and western civilization. She then makes a man and blinds him, but Enki improves his life by giving him the gift of music and making him minstrel to the king. Enki accepts Medi-Cal, MediCare, and Healthy Families. ‘Enki and Ninhursag’ is perhaps one of the most difficult Mesopotamian myth for Judeo-Christian Westerners to understand, because it stands as the opposite of the myth of Adam and Eve in Paradise found in the Old Testament Bible. Although in this myth the goddess loses stature, she was still regarded as a powerful deity one could turn to in times of trouble and rely on for protection and guidance. She tries to feed it, but it cannot eat, neither can it stand, walk, talk, or function in any way. In the myth of “Enki and Ninmah” recounted above, Enki had humans sired by the “engendering clay of the Apsu”—i.e., of the waters underground—and borne by Nammu. The immensely popular goddess Inanna/Ishtar would become secondary to male gods like the Assyrian Assur, and the powerful goddess Ereshkigal, who ruled the underworld, would be given a male consort (Nergal) to reign with her. El poema de Enki y Ninhursag. The second volume – ‘Toen kwam de vloed’ (Dutch) – is centred on the question whether the rather abrupt end of Uruk as the main commercial centre of Mesopotamia about 3000 BCE relates to the effects of the Great Flood discovered by the well-known archaeologist Leonard Woolley and described in several Near Eastern stories including ‘Genesis’, the first book of the Bible. (This structure is also found in the composition known as Enki and Ninmah). Ninkurra also develops into a young woman in nine days, and Enki again believes he sees his beloved Ninhursag in the girl. There are a number of Mesopotamian stories, legends, prayers and royal inscriptions in which Enki plays a major role. 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. She is also known as Nintud/Nintur ('Queen of the Birthing Hut') and, to the Akkadians, as Belet-ili ('Queen of the Gods'). Mark, Joshua J. Enki then pursued Uttu, who was upset because he didn't care for her. Enki becomes sick and is dying, and all the other gods mourn, but no one can heal him except for Ninhursag, and she cannot be found. 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. Ninhursag cure… 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. She was originally known as Damkina and Damgalnuna in Sumer, a nurturing mother goddess associated with fertility in the city of Malgum. Enki, seeing the plants, ate them, and became ill in eight organs of his body. Ninhursag, depicted as a young and vibrant goddess, has retired for the winter to rest after her part in creation. Enki looked at the one with neither penis nor vagina on its body and give it the name " Nibru eunuch (? Uttu, on her ancestress Ninhursag's advice buried Enki's seed in the earth, whereupon eight plants (the very first) sprung up. Ninhursag was worshiped at the city of Adab and was also associated with Kesh (as one of her names, Belet-ili of Kesh, confirms), not Kish, as is often incorrectly cited. A diachronic map of Sumer and Akkad in the alluvial plains of Mesopotamia. Download PDF Package. Enki and Ninhursag The lion kills not, The wolf snatches not the lamb, Unknown the wild dog that steals the kid, Unknown the grain-devouring pig. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Enki then pursued Uttu, who was upset because he didn't care for her. 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. She finally creates a being with neither penis nor vagina, but Enki finds a place for this creature as a eunuch to the king who will watch over him. Mark has lived in Greece and Germany and traveled through Egypt. 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. In some myths, presumed to be earlier works, she is the consort of Anu and co-creator of the world. 37-41) keeps popping up, especially in popular literature and on the internet. Free PDF. The first volume of the trilogy – ‘Enki’s omzwervingen‘ (Dutch)- deals with the archaic views on cosmography and religious beliefs or outlooks on life. In Sumerian literature, therefore, "the Lady of the rib" came to be identified with "the Lady who makes live" through what may be termed a play on words. In their first literary traditions the Sumerians refer to themselves as the ‘black-headed people’. Web. Anu sees Adam and Evening are Enkis children. (149). Enki, seeing the plants, ate them, and became ill in eight organs of his body. Ninurta gives the glory of his victory to his mother Ninmah ('Magnificent Queen') and renames her Ninhursag. Uttu is distraught and calls upon Ninhursag for help, explaining what has happened. After a particularly langorous tryst, it happened that Ninhursag gave birth to a baby girl named Ninsar before departing to work on the earth, ensuring fertility and health among the people. In the epic Enki and Ninhursag, Enki, as lord of Ab or fresh water (also the Sumerian word for semen), is living with his wife in the paradise of Dilmun where Enki and Ninhursag has also been cited, however, as the basis for the biblical story of creation found in Genesis. None of the male gods who have participated in creation - not even the most powerful such as Anu or Enlil - can do anything to heal Enki; only the mother goddess can draw out the sickness and turn death into life. She is far more frequently depicted as the wife/consort of Enki, god of wisdom among many other attributes. of the Divine Feminine in Mesopotamia was Ninhursag-Ki. In this way, eight of the deities most favorable to humanity are born: Enki is healed and repents for his carelessness in eating the plants and thoughtlessness in seducing the girls. The practice of wearing a wedding ring on the left hand originated in Rome to ward off evil powers associated with the left. Aside from the influence on the later biblical tale, the myth makes clear the power of the mother goddess figure in Sumerian belief. It says: “Wisdom built herself a house on a rock and from this rock flow the waters of life”. It is known that the female deities in Mesopotamia were overshadowed by the males during the reign of Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BCE). 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). Ninhursag blesses the child with abundant growth, and she matures into a woman in nine days. She first appears in written works during the Early Dynastic Period I (c. 2900-2800 BCE), but physical evidence suggests worship of the Mother Goddess figure dating back to at least 4500 BCE, during the Ubaid Period, before the Sumerians had come to the region of southern Mesopotamia. But the Sumerian word ti also means "to make live" as well as "the Lady of the rib". He successively sends drought, famine and plague to eliminate h… Ninhursag, depicted as a young and vibrant goddess, has retired for the winter to rest after her part in creation. Enki then pursued Uttu, who was upset because he didn't care for her. Ninhursag had many different names given in various myths according to her particular role or the theme of the story. He asks her to work with Ninmah and other fertility goddesses to create human beings and give them life. Ninhursag is a queen of the Mesopotamian deities. The Atrahasis III Tabletby The Trustees of the British Museum (Copyright). Download Full PDF Package. Through Enki, Ninsar bore a daughter Ninkurra. "Ninhursag." 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. Reverse the sexes and you will see the mighty and charming figures of Enki and Ninhursag come to life, and more. Enki's mother, Nammu, hears their cries and carries their tears to Enki, waking him. 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. Enki and Ninhursag had four children: Marduk, Enbilulu, Asarluhi and the sage Adapa.Enki, who was also the god of semen, had numerous incestuous affairs, which he ascribed to his insatiable love for his wife. They are paired. He has taught history, writing, literature, and philosophy at the college level. 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. Now, we know that Enki is the Sweet Waters Lord and Ninhursag is the Earth Mother, the Living Petra Generatrix of Alchemy. Amorously seeking his wife, Enki happened across Ninsar instead, and, stricken by her resemblance to Ninhursag, seduced her. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/Ninhursag/. Passing by the plants, Enki stops to ask what they are, and Isimud plucks from the first and hands it to Enki, who eats it. Ninhursag also appears in The Atrahasis where she fashions humans out of clay mixed with the flesh, blood, and intelligence of one of the gods who sacrifices himself for the good of the many. The Sumerian myth Enki and Ninhursag tells the story of the beginning of the world in the garden of paradise known as Dilmun. Enki and Ninmah sit drinking beer together and eventually become quite drunk. A daughter named Ninkurra was born from their union. The myth of Enki and Ninhursag also describes the Sumerian paradise as a garden, which Enki obtains water from Utu to irrigate. Peeter Espak. 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. "Ninhursag." After accelerated gestation, she gives birth—“like oil”—to Ninkura. In the legend of Enki and Ninhursag, Ninhursag bore a daughter to Enki called Ninsar ("Lady Greenery"). In Dilmun the raven was not yet cawing, the partridge not cackling. He leaves Ninsar for Ninkurra whom he seduces, and she gives birth to a daughter named Uttu ('The Weaver of Patterns and Life Desires'). Realizing that the passage of Nibiru in Earth's proximity will trigger an immense tidal wave, Enlil makes the Anunnaki swear to keep … In the second millennium BCE, as noted, feminine deities experienced a loss in status as the male gods of the Amorites of Babylon under Hammurabi took precedence. He creates a man afflicted in every area of his body and hands it to Ninmah. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ninhursag experienced this same decline as the other goddesses, and by the time of the fall of the Assyrian Empire in 612 BCE, she was no longer worshiped. Following Hammurabi's reign, from c. 1750 BCE onwards, male deities would dominate the pantheons of Mesopotamia, and even after the Amorites were defeated, this same paradigm continued. She and Anu awoke to life in each other´s arms within the embrace Nammu the Sea (Creation PDF. She is known as the Mother of the Gods and Mother of Men for her part in creating both divine and mortal entities, having replaced the earlier Mother Goddess, Nammu (also known as Namma) whose worship is attested as early as Dynastic III (2600-2334 BCE) of the Early Dynastic Period (2900-2334 BCE). Enki sends Adam to Nibiru with his son Ningishzhadda to be seen by Anu, and gives secret info only Anu must see. 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. So far only the first part of this trilogy has appeared in print. Download Free PDF. Create a free account to download. This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. Ninhursag rushes to Enki's side, draws him to her, and places his head against her vagina. This website is an introduction to the world of ‘the black-headed people’ in the Ancient Near East, the cradle of classic and western civilization. In the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, Enki is the father of the champion Marduk, who defeats the forces of chaos, and is co-creator of the world with his son. Enki distributed his semen destined for Damgalnuna (Ninhursag). Kramer notes how "the early Sumerian rulers liked to describe themselves as 'constantly nourished by Ninhursag with milk.' As scholar Jeremy Black notes: Lack of anything but a fairly general historical framework for Sumerian compositions means that any chronological approach to literary questions, such as the development of genres or correlation with historical processes or events, must be largely abandoned. Upset about Enki's reputation [gossips already being a pain in those ancient days], Uttu consults Ninhursag, who, upset at the promiscuous nature of her spouse advises Uttu to avoid the riverbanks. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. 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. Uttu, on her ancestress Ninhursag's advice buried Enki's seed in the earth, whereupon eight plants (the very first) sprung up. Why did the Hebrew storyteller find it more fitting to choose a rib rather than any other organ of the body for the fashioning of the woman whose name, Eve, according to the biblical notion, means approximately "she who makes live". In the example Wallis Budge gives, it is a child at the left breast, but the symbolism could also be an uncovered left breast, raised left arm, or some other detail. Mark, Joshua J. PDF. Father Enki, your praise is sweet!". This same pattern goes on with Ninmah giving Enki greater and greater challenges, which he meets. Enki has also been regarded as the son of Nammu, the primordial mother goddess who gave birth to the heavens and the earth. Through Enki, Ninsar bore a daughter Ninkurra. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 26 Jan 2017. Ninhursag and Enki. All the older gods praise his wisdom, and the younger gods are relieved of their labors. Enki and Ninhursag: The Trickster in Paradise 3 C. Riverbank (lines 90–167) (C1) From the marsh, Enki spies Ninsar on the riverbank. 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 was the mountain and mother goddess in Sumerian mythology. Ninmah makes a man whose hands are weak and Enki improves his life by making him a servant to a king because he would not be able to steal. 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