The Khepri are a human and insect-like race originating from the continent of Bered Kai Nev. Presently, many khepri live in New Crobuzon, although Armada also boasts a sizeable population.

Description[edit | edit source]

Khepri males and females develop quite differently. The female khepri have scarab beetle-heads and bodies similar to those of human women, along with human-level intelligence. In contrast, the males are two-foot long nonsapient scarab beetles that mate by latching onto a female's head scarab and fertilizing her. Because of this disparity in intelligence, the khepri have a matriarchal society.

Owing to their scarab heads, khepri are unable to speak and instead communicate with each other through pheromones that are emitted from their heads. When communicating with non-khepri, khepri use sign language or write messages down on paper.

History[edit | edit source]

It is implied that khepri no longer have a homeland, forced to disperse from Bered Kai Nev during the Tragic Crossing in Mercy Ships due to a mysterious event known as The Ravening. Much of their religion and traditions are only half-remembered, but surviving cultural traits include the Tough Sisters, stingboxes, and metaclockwork in general.

Culture[edit | edit source]

In the modern day, many female khepri are noted artists, using a biological excretion to sculpt breathtaking works of organic art. Khepri-spit can form quick-setting resin used to make sculptures, dyed different colors by the artist's choice of edible colorberries; New Crobuzon's Plaza of Statues contains much of this artwork.

In New Crobuzon, most khepri dwell in the ghettos of Kinken and Creekside, many in buildings constructed using home-grubs, which remodel the buildings with their spit. In Armada, khepri have their own riding, Booktown, where they oversee Armada's library inherited from the riding's previous rulers (having compound eyes, they rarely utilize it themselves).

Religion[edit | edit source]

See: Deities and Powerful Beings#Khepri Deities

In rebellion against the old Khepri Gods, many new gods, called "strange gods", were adopted by the immediate ancestors of those who survived the Ravening, while the old gods were forgotten.

Known Khepri[edit | edit source]

Appearing in Perdido Street Station[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Khepri is a (male) scarab-faced ancient Egyptian god, who represents the morning sun and the creation and renewal of life.

See also[edit | edit source]

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