If you’re unfamiliar with the Bible, Song of Solomon is one of the five wisdom books in the Old Testament. However, this book doesn’t teach wisdom, at least not in the traditional sense. It teaches erotic love and intimacy. ‘Song of Solomon’ doesn’t have a definitive plot but it does switch perspectives from the ‘black’ woman expressing her desire for her lover, the man describing his lover’s beauty, the man and woman visiting each other, and inclusions of how others view this woman’s looks. The literal interpretation of ‘Song of Solomon’ is that a man and woman are expressing their love for one another through song and verse. Others interpret it as an allegory for the relationship between Christ and the church. In Jewish tradition, Song of Solomon is recited at Passover to commemorate the exodus out of Egypt, and to show God’s relationship with Israel.
For the next installment of my “Food and Sexuality” series, I’m going to remain on the African continent and travel over to Ethiopia so we can discuss Kebra Nagast, or “Glory of the Kings.” This literary text full of myth, history, allegory, and apocalyptic storytelling is thousands of years old and details the Solomonic line of Ethiopian kings from around 400 to 1200. The stories begin with Menelik, who was believed to be the son of King Solomon and Queen Makeda.
When you think about food and sex, it may seem bit a bizarre to link these two together but their end goal is the same: satiation. Pleasure. There is an urge that needs to be met and through with either one–or more–of our orifices, we are able to become full. As experimentation on my part, I will be starting a blog series on food and sexuality in literature beginning in chronological order (as best as I can). So without further ado, let’s go back thousands upon thousands of years ago to the great civilization of ancient Egypt.