Daughter of Kush

Daughter of Kush

Portrait of a random young lady from the kingdom of Kush, a longstanding rival (and at one point conqueror) of ancient Egypt. In the end the Kushites would have the last laugh since their empire lasted until 350 AD; long after Egypt had been conquered by a succession of Assyrians, Persians, Macedonians, and Romans.

It appears to have been customary for the Kushites to dye their hair red or yellow as shown in Egyptian paintings. On the other hand, Egyptians did indulge in the practice too; Ramses II was found with red henna in his hair (hence starting a rumor that he was a natural redhead), and the daughter of Khufu from the Old Kingdom was portrayed with a yellow wig. Hair dying like this is still practiced by various ethnic groups throughout the African continent, including the Ethiopian Hamer, the Kenyan Maasai, and the Namibian Himba. However it came about, I think it provides an eye-grabbing contrast against dark Sudanic skin.

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