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κανηφόρος). A basket-bearer. The κάνειον or κανοῦν, derived from κάννα, “a reed,” was in the Homeric times a basket used for holding bread ( Il. ix. 217) or other edibles for meals, or the sacred οὐλαί for sacrifice ( Od. iii. 441). Some few golden utensils were used in state sacrifices, though the usual κανᾶ πομπικά were no doubt χαλκᾶ (Michaelis, Parthenon, p. 259). One of silver is referred to in the C. I. G. 2855, 19, and one of earthenware in Dion. H. ii. 23 (Grimm). At Athens the κανοῦν was used in religious service only. A particular part of the ceremony seems to have been called κανοῦν or κανᾶ, when the basket was carried round the altar (H. F. 926), laid down, and the οὐλαί taken therefrom. Κάναστρον signifies a bowl and also a dish made of cork or earthenware (Epig. xiv. 3). The Roman canistrum was used for just the same purposes as the Homeric κανοῦν—viz., for holding bread, necessaries for sacrifice, and remains of a feast ( Hor. Sat. ii. 6, 105). Its epithets signify “flat”—e. g. patulis, lata, etc.

They were, then, flat baskets used, among other purposes, for carrying the requisites for religious ceremonies. At the Panathenaea they were car

Canephori. (British Museum.)

ried by adult maidens of high birth, who were genuine native Athenians; but when a private individual sacrificed, his daughter or some maiden of his family acted as his canephorus.

An antefixa in the British Museum (see illustration) represents two canephori approaching a candelabrum. Each of them elevates one arm to support the basket, while she slightly raises her tunic with the other.

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