|Baufra in hieroglyphs|
Powerful like Râ
Papyrus Westcar, column 14.8
Powerful like Râ
Wadi Hammamat, cartouche name no.5
Baufra // (also read as Bauefre and Ra-bau-ef) is the name of an alleged son of the ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) Khufu from the 4th dynasty of the Old Kingdom. He is known from a story in the Papyrus Westcar and from a rock inscription at Wadi Hammamat. He is neither contemporarily nor archaeologically attested, which makes his historical figure disputable to scholars up to this day.
Baufra in Wadi Hammamat
In the inscription in Wadi Hammamat Baufra´s name is written in a royal cartouche, which brings up some confusion within egyptology, since Baufra is neither contemporarily nor archaeologically attested. It might be that he was worshipped as a local patronate of the mine workers. A similar phenomenon can be observed with prince Hordjedef, whose name is also erroneously written in a cartouche, despite the fact that he is handed down by archaeologically attested inscriptions as a “son of the king” only. Baufra´s name appears as the last name in a list naming the kings Khufu, Djedefre, Khafre and Hordjedef. Egyptologists such as Donald B. Redford believe that the name and the glorifying of Baufra and Djedefhor are both based on a misunderstanding which came up at the beginning of the New Kingdom, when literary masterpieces such as “Khufu and the magicians” and “The prophecy of Neferti” were composed and the protagonists were intended with alleged historical roles. The Egyptians must have thought that really all sons and grandsons of Khufu had ruled after this king, since all kings up to Shepseskaf were actually sons, grandsons or great grandsons of Khufu. This line of throne followers were erroneously thought to have included Baufra and Djedefor, too.
Baufra in Westcar Papyrus
Baufra appears in the Papyrus Westcar as a literary figure. His name is issued here as a private name without royal cartouche. Due the story, the sons of Khufu entertain their father by telling him stories about magicians and miracles which were witnessed under Khufu´s ancestors Djoser, Nebka and Sneferu. Baufra appears as the narrator of the third story.
Baufra tells the tale about his royal grandfather Sneferu, Khufu's father. In the story it is revealed that Sneferu was bored and depressed one day, and his priest Djadjaemankh tells him that he should call lovely girls for a rowing trip on the royal lake. When chilling at the lake the trip is interrupted by the stroke maid who lost a precious amulet. Djadjaemankh rescues the amulet by using a spell which moves the waters of the lake aside. Then the amulet is brought back to the maid and the rowing trip is continued. Sneferu is pleased with Djadjaemankh, rewards him generously and spends the rest of the day celebrating.
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