The Big Hoot

Congratulations, you’ve discovered Hoot-an-khamun!

Hoot-an-khamun is a Pharaoh-inspired owl, proudly sponsored by Birketts for Ipswich’s art trail, The Big Hoot, part of a hugely popular event brought to Ipswich by Wild in Art in association with the St Elizabeth Hospice. This year’s art trail follows imaginatively decorated owls, around the town.

Birketts’ owl, Hoot-an-khamun, has been painted by artist Emma Graham to depict an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh, (from Tutankhamun to Hoot-an-khamun, get it?). The owl sits very regally outside our office on Princes Street and looks forward to meeting you. Can you read what the hieroglyphics on its body say?

In the Western world, owls have long symbolised knowledge, intelligence and wisdom. Owls were very prominent in ancient Egypt too, symbolising ‘keen-sighted hunters’, death and the protector of spirits as they passed in to the afterlife. Honoured by the ancient Egyptians, the image of the owl is depicted within hieroglyphics, unusually facing forwards, unlike any other animal. To this day, there is a species of owl named the ‘Pharaoh owl’. 

The Ipswich Museum explain that the word Pharaoh means ‘Great House’ – the place where the Pharaoh lives. A Pharaoh wasn’t only a ruler of Ancient Egypt but also a religious leader of his or her people, often believed to be a living god. See details of these intriguing gods and Pharaohs provided by Ipswich Museum here.

If you are interested in learning more about the fascinating ancient Egyptians, Ipswich Museum boasts a marvellous display on Ancient Egypt which includes its very own genuine mummy, Lady Tahathor. Lady Tahathor is thought to have been a wealthy ancient Egyptian woman, who due to her wealth and standing in society was mummified after her death, in preparation for her entering the afterlife. Access to the afterlife was only gained by passing a test to confirm she had enjoyed a happy life with a light heart, and only then would Osiris, Pharaoh and god of the afterlife, give her permission.

Because Birketts is so excited about being part of this wonderful art trail, it is giving you the opportunity to get involved by offering you the chance to win one of three family tickets to Jimmy’s Farm! To enter, ask your parent/guardian or friend to video you ‘walking like an ancient Egyptian’ and tag @birkettshoot on Instagram to enter!

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