Bes and Taweret often appear together as protectors of women in childbirth (for example you can see both together on the bed legs in the upstairs gallery). Although hippopotamus figures such as this are usually called ‘Taweret’ (The Great One) by Egyptologists, at times the ancients called her Ipy, Ipet or Reret and she is also associated with Nut and Isis. Reret is the Egyptian name for ‘sow’ as hippopotami were considered ‘water pigs’ by the ancient Egyptians (for more on piggish deities click here). While she is sometimes said to look pregnant, some Egyptologists have claimed that her pendulous breasts and large stomach simply show her as a fecundity deity (like Hapy, the deity of the Nile annual inundation). Taweret, was particularly associated with the northern night sky. While her overall appearance is that of a hippopotamus, she is often portrayed with what appears to be the skin of a crocodile down her back.
Items in the Egypt Centre associated with Taweret:
More information on Taweret can be found here.