Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage

Keren – Sculpture by Addé 2018

Keren, in Hebrew, originally means horn.

Perceived as animals’ weapons, the horns were a strong symbol of power and strength, attributed to warriors, heroes, and kings, and metaphorically as rays of light, ending with a mistranslation giving horns to Moses, a grotesque error.

Not only a symbol, the horn is presumably the most ancient sound instrument, together with the conch.
Later, much later, it was copied and adapted to the oliphant, an ivory horn made from ivory tusk.

Remarkably, the term is still in use for musical instruments, with «the Horns» naming both the brass family among which is the cornet (from latin cornua, «horn») and the woodwinds to which the saxophone family belongs (not to the brass) hence the reed.

Today, there are vestigial uses of horn, the most ancient one has now become a hand sign for rock’n roll, but originally meaning «cuckold» from the legend of the Minotaur.
Still in use in Italy, Spain, and Greece, as an insult (do not hand sign R’n R there).

We have kept the adjective «horny» meaning concupiscent, with a bundle of correlations, all in connection with the bull, its horns, and its sexual stamina.

Last but not least, the devil is not only horny, but carries the full list of sins. The horns he sports belong to his original form: in ancient Greek religion and mythology, later adopted by the Romans, Pan was the god of the wild, of nature and countryside.

In the first centuries of Christian expansion, a term was needed to qualify the non-believers, and the Latin paganus, meaning peasant was chosen to forge the word pagan incarnated by Pan, to become the image of the devil.


Perçues comme les armes des animaux, les cornes étaient un symbole fort de puissance et de force, attribué aux guerriers, aux héros et aux rois, et métaphoriquement comme des rayons de lumière, d’où une erreur de traduction attribuant des cornes à Moïse, une faute grotesque.

La corne n’est pas seulement un symbole, c’est probablement l’instrument sonore le plus ancien, avec la conque.
Plus tard, beaucoup plus tard, elle fut imitée sous la forme de l’oliphant, un cor d’ivoire en défense d’éléphant.

Il est remarquable que le terme soit toujours utilisé pour les instruments de musique, « les cornes » désignant à la fois la famille des cuivres parmi lesquels se trouve le cornet (du latin cornua, « corne ») et les bois auxquels appartient la famille du saxophone (et non les cuivres) à cause de l’anche.

Aujourd’hui, il existe des usages vestigiaux et symboliques des cornes, le plus ancien étant devenu un signe de la main pour rock’n roll, mais signifiant à l’origine « cocu » selon la légende du Minotaure.
Il est toujours utilisé en Italie, en Espagne et en Grèce, comme insulte (ne signez pas R’n R dans ces pays).

L’anglais a conservé l’adjectif « horny » qui signifie concupiscent, avec un faisceau de corrélations, le tout en rapport avec le taureau, ses cornes et son endurance sexuelle.

Enfin et surtout, le diable n’est pas seulement « horny », mais il contient la liste complète des péchés. Les cornes qu’il porte appartiennent à sa forme originelle : dans la religion et la mythologie grecques anciennes, adoptées plus tard par les Romains, Pan était le dieu de la nature sauvage, de la nature et de la campagne.

Dans les premiers siècles de l’expansion chrétienne, il fallait un terme pour qualifier les non-croyants, et le latin paganus, qui signifie paysan, a été choisi pour forger le mot païen incarné par Pan, pour devenir l’image du diable.

Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage

Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage Keren, sculpture, Addé, African Homage

Keren © Addé 2018 – photos Xea B.


Standing as a symbol of strength and light, this sculpture is a potential trophy.
Comme un symbole de force et de lumière, cette sculpture est un trophée potentiel.

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • synchronicityoftheheart octobre 7, 2018, 18:58

    Many Mediterranean people wear a horn charm alone with a hand like the R&R sign and even an eye or mati to ward off evil lol. I got the whole lot

    • Addé octobre 7, 2018, 19:43

      Indeed! yet it deserves some clarification: The cornicello, or curniciello, is specifically Neapolitan and has a long story back to the neolithic era. Originally a horn, it merged with a red pepper with the Romans for several reasons, all connected to cultual and apotropaic values. The hand is called « la figua » and is originally Roman, used as a protection against sexual spells cast by Fascinus, the phallic god. The hand is closed, with the thumb between the major and the annular fingers as a symbol of the vagina surrounding and capturing the phallus. The « eye » is a protection against the « evil eye » and is worn by many Mediterranean people.

      • synchronicityoftheheart octobre 7, 2018, 21:00

        Yes wonderful reply. I didn’t remember what the hand was called or it might have a different name in American Italian as so many words get mangled across time and countries. Thanks

        • Addé octobre 14, 2018, 19:10

          You are welcome! It is a pleasure to exchange and to share, especially in the field of ancient customs that still exist today. If there is one place in the world worth visiting, it is the Napoli, inclding Pompei and Herculanum, automn being the best period.

          • synchronicityoftheheart octobre 15, 2018, 16:28

            Lol I was just there early this summer. I have been very busy at work and only posted a few of my photos. I adored Pompeii.

            • Addé octobre 15, 2018, 16:49

              Get back there right now! Lol! it is fantastic you’ve been there already. Did I sensed it? I always recommend Pompeii to sensitive people as one of the strongest and enlightening experiences available. Then, when you go to Napoli, in the ancient, popular parts, and blend your sensations with what you saw in Pompeii, you get an accurate perception of what life was there before 79.

            • synchronicityoftheheart octobre 15, 2018, 16:54

              My life changing place is Santorini and best place in the world for me is Mar Chiquita in Puerto Rico….but that is where I grew up.

            • Addé octobre 16, 2018, 11:55

              Quite understandable, Santorini is amazing, with its Minoan remains. I have never been to Puerto Rico, but googled it, seems cool.

African Homage is an art gallery. Addé's works are titled and accompanied by a text that explains each piece. Comments are appreciated when they are addressed to the work, not to the subject. Thank you. / African Homage est une galerie d'art. Les oeuvres de Addé sont titrées et accompagnées d'un texte qui explicite chaque pièce. Les commentaires sont appréciés quand ils s'adressent à l'oeuvre, non au sujet. Merci

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