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Ninkasi is the ancient Sumerian tutelary goddess of beer.

Her father was Enki, the lord Nudimmud, and her mother was Ninti, the queen of the Abzu. She is also one of the eight children created in order to heal one of the eight wounds that Enki receives. Furthermore, she is the goddess of alcohol. She was also borne of "sparkling fresh water." She is the goddess made to "satisfy the desire" and "sate the heart." She would prepare the beverage daily.

In ancient Mesopotamia the brewer's craft was the only profession which derived social sanction and divine protection from female deities/goddesses, specifically: Ninkasi, who covered the production of beer, Siris, who was used in a metonymic way to refer to beer, and Siduri, who covered the enjoyment of beer.[1]

Hymn to Ninkasi[edit]

The Sumerian written language and the associated clay tablets are among the earliest human writings. Scholarly works from the early 1800s onward have developed some facility translating the various Sumerian documents. Among these is a poem with the English title, “A hymn to Ninkasi”. The poem is, in effect, a recipe for brewing beer. A translation from the University of Oxford describes combining bread, a source for yeast, with malted and soaked grains and keeping the liquid in a fermentation vessel until finally filtering it into a collecting vessel.[2]

Modern Uses[edit]

Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene, Oregon takes it name from the goddess Ninkasi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hartman, L. F. and Oppenheim, A. L., (1950) Supplement to the Journal of the American Oriental Society, 10. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  2. ^ "ETCSLtranslation : t.4.23.1". University of Oxford. Retrieved 9 February 2011. 

External links[edit]