Skeleton of Baboon - Papio spp.
The baboons are a genus of old-world monkeys (meaning that they’re larger primates from Asia and Africa with non-prehensile tails) that exist in matrilineal troops (the females stay with their mothers, the males join another troop).
They’re fascinating creatures. The color varies from red to blue to pink, but all baboons have a rough, hairless, nerveless pad of protruding tissue on their bum, called ischial callosities. The primary function of these pads is similar to our own bums - sitting! Baboons sit like humans more than any other primate.
In females, their ischial callosities swell when they’re in estrous and ready to mate. During breeding season, the female baboons will present their swollen rumps to males, as a signal that she wants to mate.
Young baboons nurse for about a year, and during this time, when major fights break out in troops (baboon groups), male baboons have been seen taking nursing or just-weaned youth hostage, in order to avoid being hurt, themselves.
Despite their generally-herbivorous diet, baboons are some of the more hostile primates, and their over-sized canines scare off many predators of animals their size. Humans are their primary predator (often for the bushmeat trade), but Nile crocodiles, lions, and hyenas will take down individuals who stray from the troop or wander too close to the water.
The Egyptian god Babi was the deification of the Hamadras baboon, and was an aggressive, bloodthirsty, entrail-consuming god of the pre-dynastic Egyptian underworld. If your soul was deemed unjust on the scales of Anubis, you would be consumed by Babi, and not permitted into the afterlife. This role was played by Ammit (hippo-lion-crocodile) in some parts of Egypt, and Thoth (often portrayed as the ibis) was sometimes portrayed as the Hamadras baboon, too.
Because baboons were considered very virile, sexual creatures, Babi was usually portrayed with an erection, and was also prayed to in order to ward off impotence after death. His erection was said to be the mast of the boat that sailed the worthy souls to paradise in the afterlife.
Brehms Tierleben: Allgemeine Kunde des Tierreichs. Dr. Otto zur Strassen, 1912.
Bird Paintings of CG Finch-Davies. Claude Gibney Finch-Davies, 1920 (by the Transvaal Museum, 1984)
[Thoth as Baboon. 1400 BCE. British Museum, London.]
1. Relief - to a closing of misunderstandings and arguments. To have some closure after digging up and understanding myself more as a person, weighing out my weaknesses and strengths and coming to more of a balance. Tying loose ends of guilt and previous memories of pain from deceit and mistrust, healing old wounds and scars, to unfold a new chapter of me. So many tears, emotions, and learning has been done this past two months. From the moment my dorm room flooded, to the haunted terror in my new dorm building, to the countless fights and miscommunication with close and best friends, to facing my fears, weaknesses, flaws, and memories of the past, to finally, analyzing and seeing numerous people’s true colors and souls - either good or bad…And I am so grateful to have all these things surface and come to my consciousness. Thank you mercury retrograde.
2. That brings me to thank my best friend, soulmate and true partner in crime. Thank you for all the long nights of comfort and support, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Thank you for patience, reassurance, and a perfect dosage of both the mad and the sane. Not only have you taught me lessons to face my true self in both my past and future, but you’ve also taught me to see things in the polar opposite- to see a new perspective. Thank you for balancing me out, although at the same time you drive me insane. Thank you for your trust and love. I love and care for you dearly. Please always remember your importance in this universe. Do not trivialize your skills or underrate your worth.
3. Extremely grateful for such a wonderful small community my school consists of. I am so utterly grateful for such wonderful genuine friends, full of special skills and a diverse array of interests. Thank you all for being true to yourselves and staying true to your own souls and moral values. Because of you guys, my faith in humanity has been immensely restored.
Life is so fragile and intricately complex. Life is beautiful and awful in such extremes and is evenly distributed throughout the journey. Thus, it will take a lot of patience and diligent balancing work to strive to become a better person for the universe.