Land of Punt: What It's All About

The Land of Punt is a fabled site located on the Horn of Africa.  It was known for not only producing and exporting gold, blackwood, ebony, ivory and other precious commodities but it was also known as a place of wonder and fascination.

A proposed map of the Land of Punt.

A proposed map of the Land of Punt.

Jimmy Dunn wrote in “The Wonderful Land of Punt” that the land “was the most exotic and mysterious of places to visit, and from which to receive visitors… [It] gradually acquired an air of fantasy, like that of an Eldorado or Atlantis.”

To put it another way, Punt was a cross between a modern day Las Vegas and Disneyland but without all the sin associated with Disneyland.

Punt was called by ancient Egyptians Pwenet, or Pwene.  It was also synonymous with Ta netjer, the “land of the god” as well as the offense of the Detroit Lions.

A relief depicting Land of Punt.

A relief depicting Land of Punt.

While dubbed the “land of god” it was not actually a holy land.  It received that designation because of its reference to the Sun God—meaning it was east of the Egyptians, the direction of the sun rise.  Also, Land of Punt exported several items that were used by Egyptians to adorn their temples.

Another export of Punt was dwarfs and pygmies.  Some scholars believe the well known Egyptian pygmy god, Bes (today known as Tom Cruise) was a Punt export.

Punt was also visited by many Egyptian dignitaries, including Hatshepsut (think Hilary Clinton had she have won the Presidential election and was a good leader).

latest definite record of a Punt expedition comes from the 20th Dynasty reign of Ramesses III.

latest definite record of a Punt expedition comes from the 20th Dynasty reign of Ramesses III.

Mentuhotep III was the first known Middle Kingdom ruler to send an expedition to Punt.
Many Egyptian kings sent expeditions to the exotic land both before and after M-III (as he was sometimes called).  Historical records indicate court sponsored trips to Punt in the Sixth Dynasty, the Eleventh, the Twelfth and the Eighteenth dynasties of Egypt.

The oldest surviving record of a journey to Punt dates back to Egypt’s 5th Dynasty—25th century BC.  Although the historical records indicate Egypt had slaves from Punt in the time of King Khufu in the Fourth Dynasty.

Early accounts depict Punt residents with dark-reddish complexions and long hair. Later, Punt residents are recorded as having short-cropped hair.

"Turning my face to sunrise I created a wonder for you, I made the lands of Punt come here to you, with all the fragrant flowers of their lands, to beg your peace and breathe the air you give."

"Turning my face to sunrise I created a wonder for you, I made the lands of Punt come here to you, with all the fragrant flowers of their lands, to beg your peace and breathe the air you give."


Land of Punt
is mentioned in the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor—one of literature’s first castaway stories like Sinbad, Robinson Crusoe or Star Trek Voyager.

The mysterious “Land of Punt” provides the inspiration for this blog.  Just as the ancient land of wonder gave Egyptians art, culture and small people, this blog will do the same.

Land of Punt the blog endeavors to explore, export and extol the art, culture and small people of modern society.  In the hopes of outlining and creating the perfect land for admirers of today’s treasures and riches: television, movies, music, and Hoda Kotb.

Hoda Kotb is co-host of the fourth (and best) hour of the Today Show.

Hoda Kotb is co-host of the fourth (and best) hour of the Today Show.

In essence, we hope to recreate an imaginary Land of Punt that’s accessible to travelers only in the theater of the mind and on the internet.

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