Temple of Hathor, Dendera (plan)

Bes, an apotropaic god, protected those who were unable to take care of themselves: children, pregnant women, drunkards, and so on. He is represented as a lion-headed dwarf who is sticking out his tongue. Lions are fierce, and dwarves are good luck. Bes' aspect often seems more comical than fierce1, reflecting his approachability and the affection in which he was held by ordinary people.

Bes shows up at Hathor's temple for a reason. His job was to protect the divine child Ihy, born of Hathor and Horus (see previous page), whose union was celebrated here.

1 Although for the Maori warrior below, that gesture was meant to be fierce indeed.