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While on safari in Masai Mara, Kenya, we were intrigued by a colony of baboons nesting in a large tree on the banks of the river running through our camp. Each night, one by one, they slowly ambled toward a clearing on the savannah and settled into the equivalent of primate lotus positions to view the setting of the sun.

babyboon

Normally gregarious, boisterous and aggressive, they would remain passive, alone as if in trance until the sun dropped below the horizon and night began to fall.

We heard that Baba (the ancient name of the Egyptian Baboon God from which their names are derived) were worshipped in the old civilizations and were delighted to see evidence on this trip down the Nile.

Baboons were noted for raising their hands in the morning to greet the rising sun and were also associated with Thoth, the moon god. They are often depicted holding a crescent or full moon over their heads. Both aggressive and passive in nature, baboons were cultivated as pets, played with children, taught to pick figs, and their images were placed in hieroglyphs for ritual purposes. A powerful aphrodisiac was made from their feces! They most likely came from Nubia and were prized for their bravery and intelligence as well their worship of the sun and moon. This image was shot in the Nubian Museum in Aswan.

baboos
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One Comment

  1. Baboons, you tell us, say their prayers, meditate, revere nature and are courageous as well intelligent. Way up there on the scale of evolution. I wonder if they’ll ever advance as far as their human cousins and consider our feces as suitable material for an aphrodisiac too.
    Just wondering,
    Brian Redmond


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