Hathor clappers


Hathor & Ancient Egyptian Clappers


Music was an important part of festivals and banquets, often accompanied by singing and dancing. The noise of clapping and rattling was also thought to drive away hostile forces and/or dangerous spirits.

The goddess Hathor, whose head appears on both clappers of the right (www.britishmuseum.org),
was often associated with music and entertainment.

Hathor was also seen as a protective deity. She was often invoked in spells to drive away evil spirits such as those which caused illness. She also protected both mother and child during the dangerous time of childbirth, as did Taweret and Bes.


Egyptian clappers would have been joined at the end opposite the hands (similar to castanets) and were often played together with sistra, harps and pipes.

Typically, clappers appear to be carved in the shape of a hand. Evidence can be seen in pre-historic rock drawings of dancing figures and fourth millennium BC images on pottery in Egypt, seem to show curved-blade clappers held in hand.
Click here to see Ancient Egyptian Ivory Clappers dating back to Old Kingdom ca. 2649–2150 BC.

From www.britannica.com: Clappers are a musical instrument consisting of pieces of wood, bone, or metal either held in both hands or, fastened together, held in one hand, sometimes with a handle, and struck against each other. Clappers have been played throughout the world since ancient times, often with a ritual or signaling function. Varieties include spoons, bones, castanets, and small, tuned finger cymbals. Some Egyptian ivory sets (c. 2000 bc) are shaped like arms and hands.


From Metropolitan Museum, the clappers below are attributed to
Period: New Kingdom, Amarna
Period Dynasty: Dynasty 18
Reign: reign of Akhenaten
Date: ca. 1353–1336 BC
These clappers in the form of human hands were carved from
a single hippopotamus tusk that was split in half.