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Mummu is a Mesopotamian deity. Its name is an Akkadian loanword from Sumerian "umun", which translates as "main body, bulk, life-giving force" and "knowledge" as the active part in contrary to the more lethargical primordial forces Tiamat and Apsu (Sumerian Abzu).
He appeared in the Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish as the vizier of the primeval gods Apsû, the fresh water, and Tiamat, the salt water. and sometimes referred to as their son. Towards the middle of Enuma Elish, Ea locks Mummu and Apsu away. Mummu is also one of the names given to Marduk, the ultimate victor over Tiamat.
Mummu is a craftsman, the personification of practical knowledge and technical skill. As the third of the primordial gods, Mummu symbolizes the mental world, the logos.
The word mummu appears also in the Sumerian myth of Zu where Imdugud, whose name is translated as 'flashing wind', steals the Tablets of Destiny but in turn is defeated by Ningirsu. In their battle an arrow in midair is ordered to return to its 'mummu', which in this case meant the shaft's return to the living reed from which it was cut, the guts return to the animal's rump and finally the feathers to the bird's wings. Therefore, in a larger magnitude, mummu is detransformation, the return to chaos, demanifacturing.
In popular culture
In popular writing, Mummu is mentioned in Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! Trilogy as 'The Spirit of Pure Chaos'. The KLF, a British 1980s acid house band, used "The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu" as an alias, drawing inspiration from Illuminatus! mythology.
- Liebowitz Knapp, Bettina (1997). Women in myth. SUNY Press. p. 270. Retrieved 17 June 2009.
- Shea, Robert; Wilson, Robert Anton (1983). The Illuminatus! Trilogy. Dell. p. 805.
- Sandars, N. K. Poems of Heaven and Hell from Ancient Mesopotamia. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971.