African Gods of the Nile from history

Below is a brief overview of ancient gods that existed along the Nile from present day Egypt all the way to Ethiopia

Protective goddess and wife of Apedemak, the lion-god. She was represented with a crown shaped as a falcon, or with a crescent moon on her head on top of which a falcon was standing. 


Apedemak, was a lion-headed warrior god worshiped in Nubia by Meroiticpeoples. A number of Meroitic temples dedicated to Apedemak are known from the Butanaregion: NaqaMeroe, and Musawwarat es-Sufra, which seems to be his chief cult place. In the temple of Naqa built by the rulers of Meroe he was depicted as a three-headed leonine god with four arms, but he is also depicted as a single-headed leonine deity.

Apedemak played little role in Egyptian religion, being a product of the Meroitic culture.


Arensnuphis (in Egyptian: Iryhemesnefer, ỉrỉ-ḥms-nfr, “the good companion”) is a deity from the Kingdom of Kush in ancient Nubia, first attested at Musawwarat el-Sufra in the 3rd century BC. His worship spread to the Egyptian-controlled portion of Nubia in the Ptolemaic Period(305–30 BC). His mythological role is unknown; he was depicted as a lion and as a human with a crown of feathers and sometimes a spear.

Arensnuphis was worshipped at Philae, where he was called the “companion” of the Egyptian goddess Isis, and at Dendur. The Egyptians syncretized him with their gods Anhur and Shu.


Dedun (or Dedwen) was a Nubian god worshipped during ancient times in that part of Africa and attested as early as 2400 BC. There is much uncertainty about his original nature, especially since he was depicted as a lion, a role which usually was assigned to the son of another deity. Nothing is known of the earlier Nubian mythology from which this deity arose, however. The earliest known information in Egyptian writings about Dedun indicates that he already had become a god of incense by the time of the writings. Since at this historical point, incense was an extremely expensive luxury commodity and Nubia was the source of much of it, he was quite an important deity. The wealth that the trade in incense delivered to Nubia led to his being identified by them as the god of prosperity, and of wealth in particular.

He is said to have been associated with a fire that threatened to destroy the other deities, however, leading many Nubiologists to speculate that there may have been a great fire at a shared complex of temples to different deities, that started in a temple of Dedun, although there are no candidate events known for this.

Although mentioned in the pyramid texts of Ancient Egypt as being a Nubian deity,[1] there is no evidence that Dedun was worshipped by the Egyptians, nor that he was worshipped in any location north of Swenet (contemporary Aswan), which was considered the most southerly city of Ancient Egypt. Nevertheless, in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, during the Egyptian rule over Kush, Dedun was said by the Egyptians to be the protector of deceased Nubian rulers and their god of incense, thereby associated with funerary rites.


The Temple of Kalabsha in Nubia was dedicated to Mandulis which was a Nubian form ofHorus. A cult dedicated to Mandulis can also be found in Egypt, at Philae.

Mandulis was often depicted wearing an elaborate headdress of ram’s horns, cobras and plumes surmounted by sun discs. He was sometimes shown in the form of a hawk, but wearing a human head.


Lioness-goddess and wife of Onuris; she was in Egyptian myths told to be from Nubia. She appears to have been a vengeful goddess, representing the “Eye of Re.” Another spelling was Mekhit.


God of procreation, originating in Meroë region. He was represented in human form. His main cult centres were at Musawwarat al-Sufra, east of the 6th catararct. He was either associated with, or transferred into Atum, through Egyptian influences.

It is important to note that in MOST African spiritual systems the feminine principle of god is generally present.