In the middle of the 14th century BC, King Amenhotep 1V abandoned the traditional Egyptian beliefs in favour of worshiping the sun, more precisely the disk of the sun commonly known as the Aton. King Amenhotep changed his name to Akhenaten, known more accurately by the Bantu derivation of his name as AKA+NA+TANA, giving AKANATANA, ‘One who is beneficial to the Aton’. In Akanatana’s reign he was helped by his Queen, Queen Nerertiti in establishing his revolutionary religious ideas.
In this investigation I will be investigating Queen Nfertiti’s name, and will give the evidence that her name is of Bantu origin. Her name derives from the Kiswahili-Bantu and Shona-Bantu languages.
Queen Nefertiti can be seen in the fragment of a relief scene on the left dressed in what can only be described, as an Afro-Nubian headdress. The Afro-Nubian headdress set a trend among style conscious ladies and was widely worn by them. On the right King AKANATANA is seen wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt and clutching the ceremonial crook and flail.
ANALYSIS OF THE CARTOUCHE: THE NAME OF QUEEN NEFERTITI
It was customary for the names of Kings to be written within a cartouche, but later on it was extended to include other members of the royal families. The original cartouche which included Queen Nefertiti’s name was laid out in a vertical column. However, it is seen here in a linear configuration.
The first element of the cartouche represents the sun or the disk of the sun itn (iten is supposedly a less consistent form, known as aten). The last hieroglyph is a determinative of the queen
The four identical signs which follow the Aten, the heart and windpipe are in fact two words. The first, nfr means ‘beautiful’, good, etc. The second word shown as three signs is nfrw, which means ‘beauty’ Thus the first part in the cartouche reads as follows:
‘Beautiful is the Beauty of the Aten’
Excluding the Aton, the first word in the second part of the cartouche is Nfr-t, ‘Beautiful Woman’, ‘a Beauty’. The second word is iiti, a feminine form. The more correct order of signs is but the two strokes which repeat the consonants of ii were written first in order to achieve a pleasing arrangement of signs derived from the verb ii, to come, and means ‘has come’ referring to a woman. The sign is a pestle and has phonetic t.
Finally combining all the elements in her name Queen Nefertiti is commonly known by the second part of her name. It means a ‘Beautiful Woman’ has come or ‘A Beauty Has Come’.
ANALYSING THE CONSONANTS NFR
The consonants NFR contains the prefix N agglutinated to a hidden verb or noun given by the word FR which describes the pleasing qualities associated with the beautiful Queen Nefertiti. Some of the attributes which were used to describe Queen Nefertiti are given below. They are to do with the combinations of all the qualities of a person or thing that delight the senses and mind.
Gardiner 465, f35Heart and windpipe, nfr 'good' and related words
Horned viper, 476, I 9 phonetic f and mouth, phonetic r
nfr (be) good, beautiful, happy
nfr good, kindness, goodness, happiness, good fortune
nfr to be good, good, pleasant, beautiful, gracious, pretty, to progress favourably in sickness, to recover
nfr house of beauty
THE SHONA-BANTU WORD FARA
The Shona-Bantu verb FARA is closely connected to the Kiswahili-Bantu verbFURAHI, which is also pronounced as FURAI.
FARA is derived from the ideophone FARANU, of being happy and contented. Thus the verb FARA means: be glad, happy, pleased, be well in health,
Compare the Shona-Bantu meanings of the words to some of the Ancient Egyptians meanings of the words given above.
By the addition of suitable prefixes, one obtains the word MU-FARI, a happy, cheerful person. The word for joy, happiness is MU-FARO. One also has the following word with a different prefix, RU-FARO, pleasure, happiness, joy.
THE KISWAHILI-BANTU WORD
Closely related to the Shona-Bantu verb FARA, the Kiswahili-Bantu word FURAI or FURAHI have the following meanings: be glad, rejoice, feel pleasure, be happy, be pleased. The word for happiness, pleasure, joy, bliss, delight, merriment is given as FURAA or FURAHA.
Similar to the Shona-Bantu word, the word MU-FURAA or MU-FURAHA in the Kiswahili-Bantu language means a happy person, a pleasant or cheerful person. The noun from the verb FURAI or FURAHI is FURAA or FURAHA. Thus MWENIEFURAA (FURAHA) is a happy person.
The word ‘pleasing’, ‘beautiful’, ‘fine’, ‘good’ in the Kiswahili-Bantu language is described as, ‘being with happiness’ or ‘possessing happiness’.
For Kiswahili-Bantu speakers
(Pleasing = -a kupendeza, -zuri, enie furaha)
(Beautiful = -a kupendeza, -zuri sana)
(Pendeza = kaa, chukua)
(-Zuri, sheshe, -ema, nyerezi)
Thus ‘possessing happiness’, or ‘being with happiness’ defines what is, ‘beautiful’, ‘good’, ‘nice’, ‘glorious’ and is described by ENIE + FURAA (FURAHA) →giving N + FURAA, finally → NFURAA.
Hence the word which defines beautiful and all its combinations are given as: ENIE (having) + FURAA (happiness) becomes → NFURAA with the prefix N. The consonant N must be pronounced as in ‘NUN’.
Queen Nefertiti’s name NFURAA-TI contains the feminine form ending in T, as seen in the first word nfr-t, ‘a beautiful woman’. In this analysis I have chosen to use TI for T, the feminine. There is a second feminine T attached to the word ‘come’ and refers to the woman iit and is derived from the verb ii, to come. In Kiswahili-Bantu NI + YIE means I have come and YIE means to come. The word YIE gives a close fit to the Ancient Egyptian word ii.
FORMATION OF THE PLURAL
Forming plurals of words in the Ancient Egyptian language may be explained by examples. Consider the word for ‘name’ RN The plural form of the word is shown as + +, giving RN-W. The Bantu word for a name is RINA, JINA, LEINA etc. The Bantu word RINA, a name, gives a good fit with the Ancient Egyptian word RN. The ending in W forms the plural. To form the plural the Ancient Egyptians would have to say RINA + RINA + RINA. They shortened this by the use of the consonant W.
This can easily be explained by comparing how plurals are formed by the simplification of language such as Pidgin. Plurals are formed from a singular noun and the word ‘them’ is added on. Thus forming the plural of ‘the dogs’ becomes ‘the dog, (them)’. So the use of a pronoun becomes the tool for defining the plural. In a similar way if one applies this strategy to the Ancient Egyptian Language a similar situation can be resolved. The Kiswahili-Bantu pronoun WAO means them. So if one inserts the word WAO at the end of the word for name, RINA one obtains the Ancient Egyptian plural form, which would be pronounced as RINA + WAO, giving RINAWAO.
Now I shall tackle the Ancient Egyptian word for ‘beauty’. Beauty is considered a beautiful thing, or a beautiful woman!++ = NFR + NFR + NFR → NFR-W ‘beauty’, the combination of all the qualities of a person or thing that delights the sense and mind. This means: beauty + beauty + beauty, (them) Again the same principles as above applies and one obtains the Ancient Egyptian word for beauty NFURAA-WAO.
In a similar way the word for a ‘house of beauty’ would be NFURAA-WAO, although in this instance W was not written out.
NFR house of beauty
Please pronounce the initial letter N in Queen Nefertiti’s name as if you are pronouncing the word ‘NUN’. Queen Nefertiti’s name is a Bantu name for her name is derived from the Shona-Bantu verb FARA and the equivalent Kiswahili-Bantu verb FURAI, giving her Bantu name as NFURAA-TITI. The noun form of FARA is MU-FARO in Shona-Bantu and the noun form of FURAI is FURAA or FURAHA in Kiswahili-Bantu. Queen Nefertiti’s name is connected with joy and happiness. The ending TITI is a possible ending of her name and refers to her coming which is connected to her feminine gender of noun. Since the ending remains in harmony when compared to the sound of the first part of here name NFURAA, it is reasonable to assume that this is a good derivation of the ending.
NFURAA-TITI’S full name consists of two parts which include the Aton and given as:
[NFR- NFRW-ITN] + [NFR-TI-TI]
‘Beautiful is the Beauty of the Aton’ + ‘A beauty has come’
Researched by FERG SOMO © April 2008