Hunting and Fishing
Hunting and fishing were fun and resourceful pastimes for New Kingdom Egyptians. Not only did citizens walk away with fish and game, but they also gained great pleasure from these activities. From fishing leisurely on the Nile to riding chariots around the desert to kill game like antelopes and lions, this was one of their favorite forms of entertainment. Children even spent a copious amount of time practicing throwing spears and rocks and shooting bows and arrows. They wanted to ensure that when it was their time to hunt and fish like their parents and the aristocrats they were able to hit both stationary and moving targets. Fishing and hunting was more for entertainment than for food for a couple of reasons. First, Egyptians liked being on the water so much that they were even known to take boat rides on the Nile River. Secondly, meat was a food group that Egyptian’s rarely dip into. They typically ate breads and other foods containing grain. The domestication of crops was a very big step into their thriving civilization, which allowed them to expand and worry less about hunting and gathering, which is why it was a sport.
Along with worrying less about hunting and gathering, children and adults would worry less about finding food and more about what games to play. While children played many games that contain psychical activities and toys, adults also got into the fun with board games. Mehen, Senet, Checkers, and Tjau are the most popular board games among the Egyptians. Games like these were even buried with them for entertainment in the afterlife. Another activity children and adults participated in alike was water jousting. While adults dis enjoy activities like water-sports, children tended to be more active with their games by wrestling and practicing gymnastics. Balls and dolls were amongst the most popular toys that the children played with. They even had animal figurines and puppet-like dolls that could be controlled using strings. Some children also had tiny toy chariots along with other toys modeled after warfare instruments. Children and adults enjoy played games to pass time. Another very popular form of entertainment for New Kingdom Egyptians of all ages were the festivals.
Festivals played a huge role in the Egyptian Culture. There were celebrations for life, death, marriage, and religion. No matter the reason behind the party, all festivals included commonalities such as music, dancing, food, and alcohol. Women danced at these banquets whether they were for solemn reasons such as funerals or celebratory reasons such as marriages. For celebrations, the women were in the nude with their hair pulled back tightly while clapping to the rhythm provided by the instruments. For grieving events like burials, the dancers wore their hair up and tucked under caps. They led the mourning friends and family members into the tomb where the spiritual transition into the afterlife takes place. Regardless of the meaning behind the banquet, there was no dancing without music. Egyptian bands consisted of instruments ranging from harps to flutes. Oboes, drums, double flutes and mandolins were among these instruments.
Instruments were not only good for music at banquets. Drums played a large roll in battle, giving troops a rhythm to move with. Other instruments were more specifically for the worship of Gods and Goddesses. A sistrum was created for the goddess of music, Hathor. This metal instrument was shaped like the head of a cow, and its horns had many discs hanging off them that are connected with wire. When the instrument was rattled, the discs hit one another creating a musical sound. Bes was another example of how music intertwines with religious purposes. Figurines of Bes, a god, often depicted him with a drum in his hand. This gave men and women a religious reason to partake in these festivities.
Middle Picture Source:http://ashbritt.blogspot.com/2009/11/entertainment-in-ancient-egyptian.html (November 21, 2017);Top Picture Source:Vaijayanti Joshi, “Ancient Egyptians Hunting,” http://www.ancientegyptianfacts.com/aboutus.html (November 28, 2017); Bottom Video Source: Loreena Mckennit, Egyptian Music, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgHOPMoaIvk, (November 28,2017);Bottom Picture Source: Janet Wood, “Egyptian Band,” http://www.ancientnile.co.uk/music.php (November 28, 2017)