A hymn to Ninkasi: translation

The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature

 

(Texts: All Artefacts, Color Coding, & Writings in Bold Type With Italics Inside Parenthesis, are Added by Editor R. Brown, not the Authors, Translators, or Publishers!)

(gods in blue)

 

           2b - Ninhursag, Chief Medical Officer (Ninhursag, King Anu’s eldest daughter, Chief Medical Science Engineer) 

        1-4 Given birth by the flowing water ……, tenderly cared for by Ninhursaja (Ninhursag)!

           2a - Ninkasi, Enki's daughter via Uttu (Ninkasi, daughter of Enki & Ninhursag via Uttu)

Ninkasi, given birth by the flowing water ……, tenderly cared for by Ninhursaja!

5-8 Having founded your town upon wax, she completed its great walls for you.

Ninkasi, having founded your town upon wax, she completed its great walls for you.

2a - Enki keeper of the MUs-knowledge disks (Enki, King Anu’s eldest & wisest son, 1st to arrive on Earth with his crew of 50)

9-12Your father is Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and your mother is Ninti, the queen of the abzu.

(Ninti, daughter of Enki & Ninhursag via Uttu)

Ninkasi, your father is Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and your mother is Ninti, the queen of the abzu.

13-16 It is you who handle the …… and dough with a big shovel,

mixing, in a pit, the beerbread with sweet aromatics.

5e - Mesopotamia Plaque Showing Banqueters  (beer manufacturing lead by giant goddess Ninkasi)

Ninkasi, it is you who handle the …… and dough with a big shovel,

mixing, in a pit, the beerbread with sweet aromatics.

17-20 It is you who bake the beerbread in the big oven, and put in order the piles of hulled grain.

6a - Ninkasi brewing the beer5 - cup bearer for the gods

                        (leisure of the alien gods, earthlings bear the burdensome workloads)

Ninkasi, it is you who bake the beerbread in the big oven, and put in order the piles of hulled grain.

21-24 It is you who water the earth-covered malt; the noble dogs guard it even from the potentates (?).

2 - Ninkasi3a - Ninkasi tasting the elixer of the gods (NInkasi tastes the brew, using straws, avoiding thick mash)

Ninkasi, it is you who water the earth-covered malt; the noble dogs guard it even from the potentates (?).

25-28 It is you who soak the malt in a jar; the waves rise, the waves fall.

Ninkasi, it is you who soak the malt in a jar; the waves rise, the waves fall.

29-32 It is you who spread the cooked mash on large reed mats; coolness overcomes …….

Ninkasi, it is you who spread the cooked mash on large reed mats; coolness overcomes …….

33-36 It is you who hold with both hands the great sweetwort, brewing it with honey and wine.

Ninkasi, it is you who hold with both hands the great sweetwort, brewing it with honey and wine.

37-40 1 line damaged

You …… the sweetwort to the vessel.

Ninkasi, …….

You …… the sweetwort to the vessel.

41-44 You place the fermenting vat, which makes a pleasant sound,

appropriately on top of a large collector vat.

Ninkasi, you place the fermenting vat, which makes a pleasant sound,

appropriately on top of a large collector vat.

45-48 It is you who pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat;

2a - Lagash in Mesopotamia (Mesopotamia, “land of the gods”, the “Eden”, between Rivers Euphrates & Tigris)

it is like the onrush of the Tigris and the Euphrates.

Ninkasi, it is you who pour out the filtered beer of the collector vat;

it is like the onrush of the Tigris and the Euphrates.