One of the most typical images that comes to mind when we talk about Ancient Egypt and its pharaohs is the one that heads this article, but what does that kind of headdress really mean?
Well, said “headdress” receives the name of Nemes and, in general, it was made of cloth; It was used regularly by the pharaohs as a substitute for the heavy and huge crowns since, unlike these, it was much lighter and, therefore, it was much more comfortable to wear.
It completely covered the head, and fell vertically behind the ears, thus being tied with a knot as a braid at the nape of the neck.
According to the texts that have come down to us, they were generally white decorated with blue bands, although it is believed that some could also have been made in lapis lazuli blue and gold, as can be seen in some frescoes, sculptures and in various funeral masks.
The latter was the so-called “Uraeus“, protector of the pharaohs: such was so, that these were the only ones who could wear it because it was the true attribute of royalty.
Another reason why the Nemes was used by the pharaohs while they were alive is because it was believed that it identified them with the divinity, but this outfit was also used once death came to them since some have been found in their tombs. .
As a curiosity, some of these tombs belonged to noble people (although not of the ruling class) who would carry it with the belief that it would serve as an amulet in the Hereafter.