is the most important goddess in the Sumerian Pantheon. She
is the goddess of love, fertility and war. Inana is also the
queen of heaven and earth. Her Babylonian equivalent is Ishtar.
to Ishtar, she visited the underworld, the domain of her sister
Ereshkigal. She did the complete ritual of divesting a piece
of clothing at each of the seven gates, including her priestly
office and her sexual and royal powers. She was then promptly
put to death and became part of the underworld.
Enlil and Nanna refused to get involved but Ea took pity and
created the sexless creatures Kurgarra and Galatur from the
dirt under his fingernails. Being sexless, they were allowed
entry into the land of infertility. They sympathized with Ereshkigal's
endless pain of continued rejection and convinced her to release
Inana for their efforts.
the reborn Inana emerged fromm the underworld, only her faithful
handmaiden was waiting for her. When she reached the temple
she was aghast to find her husband Dumuzi having a ball and
in vengeance appointed him as her substitute in the underworld.
was dragged off to the underworld by the demons that accompanied
Inana from the dead. His distraught sister offered to share
his sentence and Inana granted them eternal life and death.
Half the year Dumuzi lived with Inana whilst his sister took
his place in the underworld. The milk flowed, crops ripened
and the trees blossomed. The other half he had to return to
the underworld and everything died.
sanctuaries of Inanna were in Uruk, Zabalam, and Babylon