Buto (Bouto) In Egyptian mythology, Greek name for the cobra, or uraeus, goddess Utachet (Wadjet, Inadjet, Edjo), protector of Lower Egypt. Her twin sister, Nekhebet the vulture, was the goddess of Upper Egypt.
Buto helped the goddess Isis hide from the demonic god Set, the murderer of Isis’s brotherhusband, Osiris. Isis retreated to the papyrus swamps to give birth to her son Horus, who would in time avenge his father’s death. Set never succeeded in finding her hiding place because Buto caused the papyrus and other plants to screen Isis from view. She further helped to camouflage Horus by shaking her hair over him.
In The Book of the Dead Utachet generally plays the part of destroyer of the foes of the deceased. During the ceremonies connected with embalming, the priest addresses the mummy, saying, “The goddess Utachet [Buto] cometh unto thee in the form of the living uraeus, to anoint thy head.”
Egyptian art portrays Buto as a woman wearing on her head the crown of Lower Egypt. In one hand she holds the papyrus scepter, around which is sometimes twined a snake. In some pictures she bears the crown of Lower Egypt in her right hand, about to place it on the head of the king. Occasionally, she appears as a winged serpent with the crown of the north, or Lower Egypt, on her head.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante