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Nefer is a word in the Ancient Egyptian language that was used to symbolize beauty and goodness. The exact translation of the word in English is "Beautiful on the inside and the outside".
Hieroglyphs and Symbolism
The 3 consonant Egyptian hieroglyph 'nfr'
is a representation of a lute of the type illustrated on the wall of the tomb of Nakht which can be seen on the Music of Egypt page. The central musician is playing an oval bodied lute which has a long thin neck, with a couple of tuning pegs at the top (you will have to zoom in to see this more clearly). It is rather like a light and elegant version of an ngoni, or xalam, or sintir, with added tuning pegs. This is thought to be the origin of all lute type musical instruments. The hieroglyph 'nfr' is usually shown upright with the tuning pegs the top and bowl or body below.
However, the hieroglyph is actually the heart and trachea. It originally may have been the esophagus and heart. The striations of the windpipe only appear in the hieroglyph following the Old Kingdom. The lower part of the sign has always clearly been the heart, for the markings clearly follow the form of a sheep's heart.
The term was consecutively extremely positive that it was used to refer to the crown of Upper Egypt.
- "Turin King List". The Ancient Egypt Site. Jacques Kinnaer. 25 July 2009. Retrieved 27 August 2009. IV,10: Nefer.
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