Although her name means 'the Green One' Uto is the patron goddess of Lower-Egypt and as such she is the counterpart of the Upper-Egyptian goddess Nekhbet. It is thus not surprising to find these two goddesses together in the Nebti Name of the royal titulary.

Uto is usually represented as a cobra, or as a woman with the head of a cobra or as a woman wearing the Red Crown.
Associated with the cobra, Uto is the uraeus who spits out her venom against the enemies of the king. She is therefore called '
the Lady of the Flames' and thus related to the flaming heat of the sun. Like her counterpart Nekhbet, she too is a protector-goddess.

Being the patron goddess of Lower Egypt connected her very closely to kingship and she may often be seen, together with Nekhbet, placing the Double Crown of Upper and Lower Egypt on the King’s head. 

Uto on the left and Nekhbet on the right, crowning the king in the temple of Horus at Edfu.

The earliest known source to associate Nekhbet and Uto is the
Naqada Label. Dated to the reign of Horus Aha of the 1st Dynasty, this year label depicts the King, symbolised by his Horus Name, visiting a shrine named 'The Two Ladies Remain'.

The earliest use of the Two Ladies as part of the royal titulary dates to a few generations later, to the reign of Horus Den. This title, the Nebti Name, would continue to be used until the Greek-Roman Period, which marked the end of the Pharaonic civilisation.
Being the patron goddess of Lower Egypt she was identified with the Red Crown, and like her Upper Egyptian counterpart Nekhbet, she may have been considered to be a personification of this crown.

Her primary cult centres were located in the Lower-Egyptian twin cities of Pe and Dep (Buto).

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017