Emblem of the West

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"Symbol of the West"
in hieroglyphs

The ancient Egyptian hieroglyph for the Emblem of the West, or Symbol of the West is one of the pairs of symbols for 'east', and 'west'.

Both symbols have important characteristic associations. For the west, the cemetery for souls going to the afterlife was in the west, with the setting sun. The goddess Imentet, personification of the afterlife, wore this emblem upon her head.

See also: Emblem of the East.

Emblem description[edit]

The Emblem of the West is composed of a hawk or ostrich feather. The alternate version of the symbol contains the complete figure of the hawk, for Horus, with the feather extending sideways, making it similar to the iat standard, surmounted by individual gods.

The lower part of the hieroglyph contains the vertical form of the letter 's',[1] as a hieroglyph,
, and is a bolt of folded cloth, as seen in statuary in the hand of the individual, or as a seat-backing in the tomb scenes, or stelae, iconography.[2]

Hieroglyphic linguistic value[edit]

As a 'standard with feather', the west emblem has the hieroglyphic value of imnt-(ideogram), for "the west", and related words.[3] An example related word is "right", as the cardinal points were south-north, then west-east, and has the value "wnmy", (or unmy).[4]

The Libyans, (in the west from the Nile Delta), wore the feather as part of their headdress.[5]

Preceded by


Emblem of the West
(right = "west")
Succeeded by

Succeeded by

animal leg-(tril.)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ S, vertical in Egyptian hieroglyphs, (seat-back, folded cloth)
  2. ^ Seat-back, folded cloth-(in iconography): Wikimedia Commons-[1]
  3. ^ How to Read Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Collier and Manley, Character "E7", p. 139.
  4. ^ Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt, Betro, p. 212A, Emblem of the West.
  5. ^ Hieroglyphics: The Writings of Ancient Egypt, Betro, p. 212A, Emblem of the West.