Nehmetawy (Nehmetawi, Nechmetawaj) was a fairly obscure goddess whose name translates as “she who embraces those in need”. The first reference to her so far recovered dates to the New Kingdom but the majority of references to her are from the Graeco-Roman Period. She was worshipped in Hermopolis as the wife of Thoth but was also occasionally though to be the wife of Neheb-Kau.
She was generally depicted as a woman nursing a child wearing a headdress in the form of a sistrum, (associating her with Hathor). In fact, it is often suggested that Nehmetawy was simply a form of this popular goddess, as she often uses the same epithets. Furthermore, in the temple of Amun at Karnak, Hathor and Thoth appear together and Hathor is also given the name “Nehmetaway”.
It is also possible that Nehmetaway was a form of Seshat, the goddess of wisdom who was married to Thoth and was also considered to be an aspect of Hathor.
- Budge, E Wallis (1904) The Gods of the Egyptians
- Goodenough, Simon (1997) Egyptian Mythology
- Pinch, Geraldine (2002) Handbook Egyptian Mythology
- Wilkinson, Richard H. (2003) The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt
Copyright J Hill 2010