(Also Anqet, Anket) Anukis is depicted as a woman wearing a crown of ostrich feathers, or in the form of her sacred animal, the gazelle. Mummified gazelles were also dedicated to her at the town of Komir near Esna. The center of her worship, which extended to both sides of the Nubian border, was her sacred island of Sehel at the first cataract of the Nile. The primary aspect of Anukis seems to be the embodiment of the wild beauty of her region, as well as beauty and grace more generally. At Elephantine and Aswan she is worshiped alongside Khnum and Satis, although the relationship she is intended to bear toward them is unclear. Anukis may have been regarded as the daughter of Satis, since Anukis bears the epithets “beloved of her mother” and “favorite of her mother,” but no unambiguous evidence exists of the nature of their relationship. Satis and Anukis are accorded specific functions with respect to the Nile’s inundation, Satis representing the rising of the waters, Anukis their withdrawal, which is the occasion for the sprouting of the seeds; Anukis can also, however, represent the total phenomenon of the inundation herself. Anukis also shares in the traditional function of Satis as protector of Egypt’s southern border against hostile incursions, and as protector of the sacred shrine of Osiris at Biga, where Osiris was entombed by Isis. The interpretation of the name ‘Anukis’ also remains problematic, although it has been suggested that it is related to a verb s-n-k, meaning to suckle, and that Anukis may therefore have been thought of as the pharaoh’s divine wetnurse (Te Velde, “Some Remarks on the Structure of Egyptian Divine Triads,” JEA 57 (1971), p. 85).

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