Kouretes (Κουρῆτες) were nine dancers who venerate Rhea.  They were born in full battle armor from Gaia and the blood of Ouranos.  They danced and performed metalwork on the island of Krete that they were able to drown out the screams and cries of the infant Zeus so that he would not be heard by Kronos or any of the other Titans.


Gaia & Blood of Ouranos

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"Then the son [Kronos, Cronus] from his ambush stretched forth his left hand and in his right took the great long sickle with jagged teeth, and swiftly lopped off his own father's [Ouranos', Heaven's] members and cast them away to fall behind him. And not vainly did they fall from his hand; for all the bloody drops that gushed forth Gaia (Earth) received, and as the seasons moved round she bare the strong Erinyes and the great Gigantes with gleaming armour [probably the Kouretes, Curetes] and the Nymphai whom they call Meliai [probably the nymphs who nursed Zeus] all over the boundless earth." - Hesiod, Theogony 176 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.)

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