Ibosim is one of Ibiza’s oldest names. Translated from Punic language this word means “Island of Bes”.
The midget guardian God, who was also worshipped in Egypt, was brought to Ibiza about 1500 BC through Punic influence. His exact origin is unknown to us and many experts think, he originally came (descended) from the Pygmies, because his appearance is very different from Mediterranean and Egyptian Gods.
He wasn’t especially a beauty. A midget person with long arms, short legs, snub nosed face, bushy beard and big eyebrows. Most of the time he is shown with hanging tongue, horns and hoofs. In some pictures you can also see him with a giant penis.
Bes brought luck into the houses of all social levels and he was the protector of the marriage and family. He took care of the women’s needs and their jewellery. He was their biggest friend and helped them through birth giving. Very often you find illustrations of him dancing around the young mother with drums, tambourines and waving knifes. The noise, the horrible laughing and his ugly face where supposed to scare off bad spirits and protect the newly born baby.
Also you found his picture over beds, because he was the caretaker (protector) of sleep. He was seen as an important magician, and on many old coins from Ibiza we can find this little bearded figure fighting with a snake. “Bes the curse of all bad creatures” he was often called because he also protected his followers against dangerous animals. Many people believe, that the absence of poisonous animals on Ibiza is due to him.
But first of all he was the God of good moods and pleasure. Already in old Egypt he was dancing in front of the pharaohs giving them pleasure with the sound of harp, lyre and tambourines. Therefore dance and music were an important part of his cult, clearly his influence still continues in Ibiza.