is a rendition written by me of the poem translated as "Hymn to
Ninkasi" written around
3,800 years ago by a Sumerian poet, bard or scribe and found on clay
tablets. I have
tried to translate the emotional response to the
poem of the listener, caring more for cadence and scansion, rather than
trying to do a literal translation of the words.
I believe the actual name of the goddess is Nin and Kasi and Hursag are
her titles. I think Kasi means Queen (it still refers to the local
ruler in that area today) and, strictly guessing, I think Hursag means
"Chief Medical Officer". Her other name is Ninmah, which I think means
Mother Nin. There is also a character called Ninti from that era, but I
think that means "Little Nin" and refers to someone else that they were
comparing to Nin.
According to historical records, but not accepted by
conventional interpretation of those records today, she was a physical,
living person, but not necessarily a human being as we know them (that
is, like us). You can find scholastic translations of this poem here
was born by the river
She breathes in its sweet smelling air.
The town that she built is still growing
The walls that she built are still there.
The lake that is sacred to heaven,
To Ninkasi, the queen of the lake,
She will soon draw the pure, deep lake water
And there of your thirst she will slake.
She will slake of your thirst with the water,
For ale she is sweetest the giver.
She will mix it with bread and with spices
And juice from the cane by the river.
By the rivers Euphrates and Tigris
Where the sugar cane rushes grow tall,
The ale from it freely is flowing
Ninkasi fermented it all.
Ninhursag has baked in her oven,
On her floor she has malted the grains
With honey and juice from the date plants,
She mixes the bappir and strains.
She soaks the good malt in a deep pit,
The waves rise and then the waves fall
She spreads the cooked mash on a reed mat
And the noble dogs guard o'er it all.
She brews it with honey and with liquor
She pours with both hands the sweet broth,
From the ale vats it rushes like rivers
From the vats with the good foaming froth.
Taste, Health and Community With Naturally Fermented Foods
and Herbal Healing Beers by Stephen