Symbols: Lion, knives, bells, drums
Cult Center: the private home; during the Greek Period, Abydos
Bes was the god of music and dance, the god of war and slaughter, and a destroying force of nature. He was also a protector of children. Bes is most likely of equatorial African origin, although some think he is Semitic (Middle Eastern).
Bes was usually portrayed as a dwarf with a large head. He is bearded with his tongue sticking out. He has a flat nose, bushy eyebrows and hair, large projecting ears. Around his body, he wears the skin of an animal and its tail hangs down behind him and touches the ground. He wears on his head a tiara of feathers, suggesting an African origin. Sometimes he is shown in profile, but he is usually seen full face (highly unusual in Egyptian artistic conventions). As a god of music he is sometimes shown playing a harp. As a warrior he wears a short military tunic and holds a shield and a short sword.
One of the earliest portrayals of Bes is in the Temple of Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut was a female Pharaoh of the New Kingdom.