The Seven Gates of Kur
Kur is the name for the Sumerian Netherworld ruled by Ereshkigal. To enter, one must pass through the seven gates, each guarded by a deity. In the Sumerian myth Inana’s descent to the nether world and in the Babylonian version The Descent of Ishtar to the Underworld, upon entering Kur, the goddess Inanna/Ishtar is made to take off one of her Me, represented by articles of clothing, at each gate.
The First Gate
Gods: Nedu, Pituh
Inanna article of clothing removed: Turban, headgear for the open country
Ishtar article of clothing removed: Great crown
The Second Gate
Gods: Kishar, Enkishar
Inanna Me: Small lapis-lazuli beads
Ishtar Me: Rings in her ears
The Third Gate
Inanna Me: Twin egg-shaped beads
Ishtar Me: Beads around her neck
The Fourth Gate
God: Enuralla, Nerulla
Inanna Me: “Come, man, come” pectoral
Ishtar Me: Toggle pins at her breast
The Fifth Gate
God: Endukuga, Nerubanda
Inanna Me: Golden ring
Ishtar Me: Girdle of birth stones
The Sixth Gate
God: Endushuba, Endukuga
Inanna Me: Lapis-lazuli measuring rod
Ishtar Me: Bangles on her wrists and ankes
The Seventh Gate
Inanna Me: Pala dress
Ishtar Me: Proud garment of her body
Black, J.A., Cunningham, G., Fluckiger-Hawker, E, Robson, E., and Zólyomi, G., The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/), Oxford 1998- .
Dalley, Stephanie. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others. Oxford University Press, 2008.
Foster, Benjamin R. From Distant Days: Myths, Tales, and Poetry of Ancient Mesopotamia. CDL Press, 1995.