This piece was originally created for the exhibit “Studio Brew” at the Muskegon Museum of Art in 2015.
Ninkasi was the ancient Sumerian (Mesopotamia) goddess of beer brewing. Interestingly, beer production was originally within the realm of “women's work” since it was closely related to the baking of bread. Through translation of cuneiform writing, scholars think that the “hymn” includes the recipe in a somewhat coded form so the ingredients and brewing process could be more easily remembered by its makers. It is thought that the hymn was sung while brewing the beer.
A Sumerian relief sculpture shows an entire family partaking of the beer from a communal bowl with an array of drinking straws fanning out from the bowl much like what appears in Patti's sculpture.