(Oukh, Uch, Ukh) Wekh was a prominent deity at Qis, or Cusae, the capital of the 14th nome, or district, of Upper Egypt (modern Meir or el-Qusiya). Little is known of Wekh, who is generally depicted in inanimate form as a scepter, staff or pillar composed of a papyrus stem crowned with two feathers. Sometimes the wekh-scepter is embellished with the menit necklace associated with Hathor or the scourge or flail associated with Min and other apotropaic deities. On one occasion, Wekh is depicted as a lion holding knives in both front paws (Chassinat 1905, 104). The wekh-scepter may have symbolized the support of the sky; it was at any rate closely associated with the Hathor cult at Cusae. In the tomb chapel of Wekh-hotep, a fight between two bulls is depicted at Cusae, which is observed by local dignitaries. Behind either bull stands a herdsman armed with a stick, while off to the side stands a cow. One herdsman calls out: “Separate the bulls, separate them! Up, take away the bull, separate them!” The other herdsmen, in reply, says to his bull: “Let go, let go today! The Wekh is mighty, let go!” (Blackman 1915, 25). The bulls are probably fighting for the honor of being consort to a sacred cow of Hathor.

In the Tebtunis Mythological Manual, Wekh is identified with “Horus on top of the wild bull,” and the text explains that Wekh was given gold to search for Horus when he was in hiding after having been injured by his mother Isis. Wekh in turn gives the gold to Nemty to ferry him on the river to find Horus. Horus is somehow healed, perhaps involving the rebirth in or through the flesh of the sacred bull, because the manual describes the standard as consisting of “two feathers in front of him [Wekh] and two behind him, while the skin of Horus is underneath him,” and explains that gold is taboo at Cusae “because of the color of the skin of the newborn Horus,” (TM 2, 7-18, trans. Jørgensen 2014, pp. 225-6).

Blackman, Aylward M. 1915. The Rock Tombs of Meir. Vol. II. London: Egypt Exploration Fund.
Chassinat, Émile. 1905. “Sur une Représentation du dieu Oukh.” Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale 4: 103-104.
Jørgensen, J. K. B. 2014. Egyptian Mythological Manuals: Mythological structures and interpretative techniques in the Tebtunis Mythological manual, the manual of the Delta and related texts. Københavns Universitet, Det Humanistiske Fakultet.

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