Study Guide

Seshat Gossip

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Seshat is often shown wearing a leopard skin draped over one shoulder or a dress made entirely of leopard skin. If she's wearing the drape, it's the same outfit that a Setem, or an ancient Egyptian funeral priest, wears. The spots on either kind of leopard skin represent the stars in the sky, or the souls of dead people in the heavens. Sound familiar? You might remember it from The Lion King.

Most of the time, Seshat has a seven-pointed star or flower above her head as a sort of headdress. At different time periods it has different shapes and colors, but it's usually drawn like a star or a lotus flower. Because it changes so much, its exact meaning remains a mystery. Hey, nothing wrong with a little intrigue…

The word Seshat means "female scribe." It also means "secrets." In a place like ancient Egypt, where less than 1% of people knew how to read or write, those with the skillz could definitely keep secrets. See, Shmoopers—it pays to be literate.

Duke University in North Carolina has a Lemur Center that studies these tiny mammals. In 2012, they received two new crowned lemurs and named one of them Seshat. See the resemblance?

There's a Java-based font editing program called Seshat. We're pretty sure the goddess would approve. Next up: Shmoop font.

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