Neko Goddess Bastet Meets Nefertiti
Long before a cosplay catgirl was seen in Japan or the first Neko set paw in Second Life, we humans have been drawn to all things feline. Perhaps the earliest known record of this is the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet, dating as early as 3,500 BC.
No matter how she was called — Bast, Baast, Bastet, Ubasti, or even Ailuros in Greek mythology — this half cat, half woman goddess represented all things feminine, pleasurable, beautiful, independent and sensual.
Every night she underwent a transformation: leaving behind her semi-human form, Bastet would change into a cat, all the better to guard her sun god father Ra with her powerful all-seeing sacred eye, the “utchat” that could see in the dark.
Half woman, half cat, beautiful independence, magical transformations… it’s a theme that’s been consistent for thousands of years… all the way up to recent stories like The Nine Lives of Chloe King by Liz Braswell, which has its own TV series as well as a game in the U.S.
Yet it seems Bastet’s powers were no match when pitted against the beauty of a Egyptian queen named Nefertiti…
Queen Nefertiti – “the beautiful one has come”
To gain a better understanding of the magnitude of Queen Nefertiti, you can consult a wiki page, read an amazing history book, or visit a tomb from the era in which she lived, such as the one that belonged to her sister Nefertari. Visiting a tomb like this has been impossible… until now…
Imagine walking into a three thousand year old room where every wall, ceiling and pillar is as perfect and richly hued as the day it was finished. Such is the genius behind the magnificent “Nefertari’s Tomb” on Second Life’s Museum Island, built by a very talented avatar named Carlolello Zapatero.
In Carlos’ own words, this virtual tomb was “all restored from original photos, with the aid of an archaeologist.” These simple words don’t begin to tell the remarkable underlying story:
Not only did Carlo gain rare permission to enter and photograph the actual tomb, but he used these photos as a guide in creating original watercolors of its walls and details, each image carefully drawn, repainted, and “restored” by his own hands to create the textures he used to build the virtual tomb.
To the Tomb, by La Baroque; see credits below
And that’s what makes this 3D build such an exceptional treat: there is no other way to see this tomb, and no better way to experience its original grandeur since the moment its doors were sealed, thousands of years ago.
Nefertari’s Tomb is just one of many virtually restored treasures on Museum Island. Others include Petra, Babylonia, the ruins of an ancient Roman temple, the Hanging Gardens, a fully restored Pompeiian house, and more — each one its own inspirational 3D experience perfectly crafted for exploring and education.
So How Do the Stories of Nefertiti and Bast Overlap?
Not so well. At least for a few years…
Bastet’s nearly two thousand year reign came to an abrupt end when the lovely Nefertiti married the great King Akhenaten. Shortly after their wedding, religious revolution ensued. Akhenaten decreed that Egypt would worship only one god instead of all the lesser gods and goddesses. The new supreme being? Bastet’s own father, the sun god Ra.
A Prayer, by Lookatmy Back; see credits below
Scholars have long debated what led Akhenaten to instigate such a radical shift, and whether the impetus was due to Nefertiti.
One could surmise that a woman of such beauty could easily convince a husband to change his religious ways — especially since some historians believe that Nefertiti was from a kingdom called Mitanni where single-god worship was common, and most all historians agree that Nefertiti and Akhenaten were “very much in love.”
Nefertiti Returns, by Lookatmy Back; see credits below
Whether it’s an ode to the transience of beauty or a testimony to the power of all things cat, Bastet’s oblivion was short lived. A mere seventeen years later, both Akhenaten and his breathtaking wife Nefertiti were no more.
In the end, it seems the cat goddess had the last word.
Visit Nefertari’s Tomb by Carlolello Zapatero on Museum Island in Second Life:
(Upon arrival, click on “Mini Map” and look for the red beacon… follow that to the tomb’s entrance, on the West water’s edge of the sim)
Listen to Ancient Egyptian Meditation Music as you Explore:
Or More Modern Egyptian Music:
Read the Full story of Bastet:
Read the Full story of Nefertiti:
Learn More About Ancient Egyptian Couture:
Dress Up as a Bastet Goddess (or Egyptian Neko Princess) in Second Life:
| My First Pose | Vain Inc.: HauteCouture8
| Hair | Wish (Wishedon Pasteur): Isis Black – this hair comes with two different styles, easily changed by clicking the hair
| Golden Headband | Illusions: Semeret Headpiece (Note: Illusions will be releasing some new Egyptian things soon!)
| Neko Ears | OTCR by Anisa Naumova: Neko Ears v3 (color changed to brown/black)
| Eyes | SbZ: Eyefidelity Neko Deep Blue (store still on hiaitus)
| Kohl Eye Makeup | Glamorize: Kitty Makeup
| Skin | Tuli: Eva Tone 7 (a Christmas gift)
| Collar | Bare Rose: Hathor Outfit
| Dress | Vindi Vindaloo: Flower Isis Shirt + Skirt
| Upper Armcuffs | Illusions: Semeret Armcuffs
| Lower Armbands | Bare Rose: Hathor Outfit
| Belt | Bare Rose: Hathor Outfit
| Neko Tail | AdiCat / AC: Bast Tail (shown above, this incredible tail was built by my friend Aditya just for this story. It comes with matching ears, which I did not wear)
| Ankle Bands | Illusions: Semeret Bangles (these normally attach to the wrist; I attached them to my ankles and moved/stretched them to work)
Find Additional Egyptian Fashion in Second Life:
Sincere thanks go to two very lovely ladies for providing invaluable guidance: Isis Barom told me about two excellent Egyptian couture stores named Wish and Marees, and tipped me off to the new Valley of Kings sim. The very sweet and helpful Luralie Bailey, Miss Egypt 2011 gave me advice on skin, hair, and makeup.
Bare Rose – Anqet
Betty Hyde – Maat (and other outfits)
Casa del Shai – Eternal Nefertari
EXXESS – Egyptian outfits
Fantasia Fantasy Clothiers – Cleopatra outfit designed by Fantasia and blogged by Sakina; meanwhile here’s Fantasia’s blog
Ivalde – Ma’at (unable to find this in their store or in SL Marketplace)
La Kara / Filipa Couture (Filipa Thespian) – Egyptian jewelry (upstairs in the SL store)
LoveCats – Bast outfit
Marees (Mareesweyn Auer) – a variety of excellent couture for men and women (follow the red beacon to find the store)
Mea Culpa – Return of Isis
MDI Themed Clothing – Cleopatra, or Sekmet
Nicky Ree – Egyptian Goddess
Stone Ryba – Queen Nefertiti of Egypt
Wish (Wishedon Pasteur) – Extensive array of Egyptian couture, hair, skins, and accessories
The first two images are by the wonderful Bobby Yoshikawa <3***
All remaining images are from two very talented Koinup friends, La Baroque, and LookatmyBack, with my sincere appreciation!
Egyptian Queen used in “To The Tomb” is by http://shd-stock.deviantart.com/
Pharaoh and objects used in “A Prayer” are by http://shd-stock.deviantart.com/; Bast is by http://texelgirl-stock.deviantart.com/
Ghost used in “Nefertiti Returns” is by http://selficide-stock.deviantart.com/
© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life 2011