The White Crown (Hedjet) “Symbol of Kingship of Upper Egypt” Atef, the crown of Osiris, is a combination of Upper Egypt’s white crown, the hedjet, and ostrich feathers on either side. It also often has a golden disc at its tip. The ostrich feathers, similar to those representing ma’at, symbolize truth, justice, morality, and balance. They represent the cult center of Orisis as well, which is located in Abydos. The atef is typically worn atop a pair of ram or bull horns as a circlet. The atef crown is seen as far back as the 5th dynasty.  According to Egyptian beliefs, this crown represents Osiris as the god of fertility, ruler of the afterlife, and a representative of the cycle of death and rebirth. Later on, though, it came to be worn by other pharaohs because of the belief that they would become a form of Osiris after their death. In their tombs, the pharaohs would have themselves depicted as Osiris by wearing his crown. During Middle Kingdom Egypt, even regular citizens could have Osiris’s crown because Osiris had become the judge of the deceased.  It was also worn during religious rituals.

The White Crown (Hedjet) "Symbol of Kingship of Upper Egypt"
The White Crown (Hedjet) “Symbol of Kingship of Upper Egypt”


Crown of Egypt the Egyptian civilization used a number of different crowns throughout its existence. Some were used to show authority, while others were used for religious ceremonies. Each crown was worn by different pharaohs or deities, and each crown had its own significance and symbolic meaning. The crowns include the Atef, the Deshret, the Hedjet, the Khepresh, the Pschent, and the Hemhem. Headwear was a significant aspect of culture for people throughout ancient Egypt’s history. Crowns, headdresses and circlets all conveyed important symbols of power for the ruling class. For both royalty and commoners, various styles of wig and headdress were highly sophisticated parts of culture over the course of Egyptian civilization.