Chic African Culture Blog

Egyptian Goddess Sothis Bringer of the Nile Flood

Sothis the goddess was called the bringer of the New Year and the Nile flood. 


Sopdet, or Sothis, for the ancient Egyptians is a very important star that signaled the coming annual inundation of the Nile River that marked the beginning of the new agricultural year.
Nile River

Sopdet, or Sothis, for the ancient Egyptians is a very important star that signaled the coming annual inundation of the Nile River that marked the beginning of the new agricultural year. Its bright appearance in the morning sky announced the annual flooding of the Nile.

Sothis is known as the goddess who is the bringer of the New Year and the Nile flood.  The Nile is the longest river in the world. Its main branch, called the White Nile, flows north from Lake Victoria in east-central Africa 3,470 miles to the Mediterranean Sea on Egypt’s northern border. 

Starting in Ethiopia, another river, called the Blue Nile, joins the White Nile at Khartoum, Sudan, where the rivers merge and flow into Egypt. The Nile is the heart and life of the Egyptians. Although Egypt was enormous, most of the population lived near the banks of the river.

Pyramid Text Utterance 442:822 states, “Your third is Sothis of the pure places, she is your leader by the beautiful ways in heaven, in the Marsh of Reeds.”


Pyramid Text Utterance 477:965 states "It is Sothis, thy daughter, who loves thee, who secures thy livelihood, in this her name, who conducts N., when N. comes to thee."
Sothis daughter of Osiris

It was the Nile River swollen by heavy rains that caused the river to rise and each year the Nile overflowed its banks, depositing fresh, rich topsoil on the flat plains that spread to either side of the river and enabling Egypt to grow an abundance of crops.

Erstwhile ancient civilizations had to rely on their unpredictable rainfall to water crops, and often there was too much or too little. Egypt’s great fortune was to have a river that renewed the topsoil annually and flowed in sufficient volume to water the fields.

Pyramid Text Utterance 442:965 describes Sothis as the daughter of Osiris. Therefore, Sopdet became associated with the prosperity resulting from the fertile silt left by the receding waters. 

Sothis is almost always shown as a woman wearing a tall crown similar to the White Crown of Upper Egypt but with tall, upswept horns at the sides and surmounted by a star with five points.

Pyramid Text Utterance 477:965 states "It is Sothis, thy daughter, who loves thee, who secures thy livelihood, in this her name, who conducts N., when N. comes to thee."

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Being African in America I have grown up learning about different ethnic cultures. My father and mother are historians of African culture and history and their influence expanded my activities to several best-selling cookbooks, magazine columns, self-branded products, and a popular African culture and food blog.

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