Ba Bird Statuette
This ba bird statuette is perched on a rectangular base. The human head is covered by a blue tripartite striated wig with a red sun disc on top. A collar was painted on the chest between the front lappets of the wig. The feathers are painted red, the tail feathers blue.
The typical leg feathers of a falcon are realistically modeled. Wooden Ba birds were used as decoration for furniture, standards, stele or shrines.
The ba is an aspect of a person’s non-physical being. After death, the ba was able to travel out from the tomb, but it had to periodically return to the tomb and be reunited with the mummy. The bas was usually represented as a bird with a human head, and sometimes with human arms.
The ba-bird was the part of a human activated after death: it was commissioned to visit the world of living as well as oversee critical events during the deceased’s passage from this world to the next.
The ba, in ancient Egyptian religion, with the ka and the akh, a principal aspect of the soul; the ba appears in bird form, thus expressing the mobility of the soul after death.
Ba bird statuettes are among the wooden statues that might accompany a burial in the Late and Ptolemaic Periods. Sometimes they were prepared for attachment to a coffin or certain kinds of stele.
Late Period to Ptolemaic Period, ca. 664-30 BC. Now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.