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Overseer of the Chantresses (ancient Egyptian: mr-šmꜥyt.w) or Chief of the Entertainers was an ancient Egyptian religious occupational title held by a high ranking Chantress. The duty of an Overseer of the Chantresses was to supervise and inspect her fellow chantresses within a priesthood. The title began to exist during the New Kingdom, since – by this time – the role of women in the priesthood focussed primarily on music and dance, which was fulfilled by chantresses rather than priestesses. The title's male equivalent was "Overseer of the Priests".

Overseer of the Chantresses

The title is also often referred to as Overseer of the Harem (of a particular deity that the chantresses served). However, chantresses were only their deity's harem in a symbolic sense as they rarely lived in celibacy. They nonetheless served a very similar entertaining role to the deity of their priesthood as the royal harem did to the pharaoh, who was essentially considered a living god himself. The women of the royal harem were similarly supervised by the Overseer of the Royal Harem. The key difference between a deity's harem and the royal harem is that chantresses who served in a priesthood could have been married to anyone, while entertainers in the royal harem primarily served as the king's consorts.

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