Untranslatable Egyptian word referring to one of the aspects of a person or a god's being. Unlike what many other cultures believed and believe, the Egyptians did not regard a person as being made up of a body and a soul together forming the sum total of a person, while each representing a separate part of the person. According to Egyptian texts, the 'ba' also had bodily needs, and is thus not the equivalent of our concept 'soul'. The Egyptians thought that the entire person, regarded from different points of view, could be referred to by different words. Just as the 'ka' was the life force, and a name the visible, physical manifestation of the person called by that name, so the 'ba' was seen as the aspect of the non-physical, freely moving personality. The desire for freedom of movement appears regularly in the funerary literature. It was the 'ba' which enabled the deceased to leave the tomb, for example to worship the rising sun, to rest in the shadow of a tree, or to drink water from a pond. This highly desirable freedom of movement was perceived to be present in birds. Very swift birds like swallows were seen as the personification of the 'ba'. Migratory birds, who periodically crossed the borders between Egypt/the created world and the regions beyond, were also supposed to be 'ba's. A text in a temple at Abydos relates that migratory birds outside the created world had the bodies of birds and human heads; as soon as they came into the light of the sun, that is, entered the created world, they changed into real birds. The 'ba' was indeed usually depicted as a bird with a human head (and sometimes human arms). The 'ba' was capable of assuming any shape it wanted to. Funerary texts provide many examples of spells which enable the deceased to transform himself at will.