Nubkhas the Egyptian Mercenary Princess

Nubkhas the Mercenary Princess

Nubkhas got her start as a princess of Egypt, daughter of Pharaoh Mentuhotep IV of the 11th dynasty (that’s during the Middle Kingdom period). However, after the treacherous vizier Amenemhat deposed her father in a bloody coup, Nubkhas fled the country and has since lived her life as a traveling mercenary and adventurer. She’s a skilled martial artist, hunter, and diplomat as a result of her royal education, but she retains a fierce and haughty spirit worthy of an Egyptian princess.

Hair Protection for Nubkhas

In my previous drawing I had Nubkhas’s hair all grown out after years of life outside the comfort of her palace (the usual practice of Egyptian nobility was to shave their heads and wear wigs). But then it occurred to me that an African woman wandering across the ancient world would probably have to deal with all kinds of curious foreigners trying to touch her tightly curled hair. As a precaution against this unwanted hair molestation, Nubkhas wears this headwrap whenever she’s in a big city (outside of Africa itself, of course).

Macaroni Grill Doodle

Macaroni Grill Doodle

Last weekend I ate out with my family at Macaroni Grill, and I doodled this with the crayons and paper tablecloth they were kind enough to provide us with. Unfortunately there were only three crayons available at our table, two red ones and one green, so I had a very circumscribed color palette to work with. Still proud of what I could achieve though.

Medusa

Medusa

In Greek mythology, Medusa was one of three sisters, known as the Gorgons, who hailed from the African continent (which the Greeks called “Libya”). She was originally a very beautiful maiden who fell victim to the sea god Poseidon’s sexual violence in a temple to Athena. In a senseless and appalling example of rape culture at work, Athena punished not Poseidon but Medusa, transforming her into a snake-haired monster so hideous that men would turn to stone upon the mere sight of her. Poor Medusa never found justice. Instead her fate was for the demigod Perseus to slay her and use her severed head as a weapon.

Honestly, Medusa’s story is one of the saddest Greek tragedies I’ve ever read about, even if in this case it was unintentional.

Aida and Radames

Aida and Radames

Aida, a fictional princess of Kush (pictured left), is the titular protagonist of an opera composed by the 19th century composer Giuseppe Verdi. In the opera an Egyptian warrior name Radames (right) captures her in one of the many wars between Egypt and Kush, but nonetheless they fall in love even as Aida’s people plot a rebellion against Egypt and the Pharaoh’s daughter has her own eyes on Radames. It’s almost like an Egyptian take on Romeo and Juliet hybridized with a love triangle and Stockholm Syndrome. Oddly enough, not even the latter aspect prevented the opera from being adapted into a Disney musical in the modern day.

Ahmanet Attacks

Ahmanet Attacks

This is my interpretation of Ahmanet, the mummified Egyptian princess who’s going to be the titular monster in the upcoming Mummy reboot (the one with Tom Cruise). Originally I thought she was going to be Mesopotamian since certain sources said the reboot would place her in Iraq (another name for the Mesopotamian region), but one of the more recent trailers indicates she’ll be ancient Egyptian after all. But then, I’m not aware of Mesopotamians mummifying their dead the way Egyptians did.

Azanian Beauty

A lovely young maiden from ancient Azania, a region of East Africa stretching from Kenya to Tanzania along the Indian Ocean. The name comes from ancient Greek and Roman texts, which locate a great marketplace called Rhapta along its coast. Later, during the Middle Ages, Azania would see the rise of the Swahili city-states which had commercial links as far across the Indian Ocean as China. This woman could probably represent the Swahili people’s pre-Islamic ancestors, although her attire here (including the nose piercing) comes entirely from my imagination.

Cold

Cold

Cold enough to chill my bones
It feels like I don’t know you anymore
I don’t understand why you’re so cold to me
With every breath you breathe
I see there’s something going on
I don’t understand why you’re so cold.
—“Cold” by Maroon 5 (feat. Future)

Sometime around 40,000 years before present, this Upper Paleolithic woman (Homo sapiens) is weathering the wintry cold of Pleistocene Europe. Although she has inherited most of her physical features from her African ancestors around the time they settled Europe, you may notice she has green eyes as foreshadowing for her people’s eventual evolution into modern “white” Europeans.

The image came to mind while listening to the song “Cold” by Maroon 5. Music has a strange way of inspiring artwork from me sometimes.

Offering to the Aten

Offering to the Aten

Inside a dark chapel with only a narrow aperture to let in the sunlight, the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti makes an offering to the sun god Aten.

Although the main Egyptian solar deity was Ra, another variation on the same theme was an entity known as the Aten which rose to prominence during the reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaten (Nefertiti’s hubby). Akhenaten even went as far as abolishing the traditional Egyptian religion in favor of an almost monotheistic fixation on the Aten. Not only did this not sit well with the “orthodox” Egyptian priesthood, but Akhenaten was a horrible ruler who let his people suffer and whose reign weakened Egypt’s once mighty 18th Dynasty. Nonetheless, some scholars have speculated that Akhenaten’s concept of the Aten might have inspired the modern monotheism of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (although this is not certain).