There were two kinds of dwarfs known in ancient Egypt, the African pygmies and the Egyptian dwarfs. The African pygmies had hereditary dwarfism. These pygmies originated in the equatorial forests of Central Africa. The Ancient Egyptians brought them to Egypt from their trade stations in Nubia. The first pygmy was brought from Punt in the time of King Asosi of the Fifth Dynasty. Another was brought by Herkhuf from the land of Iam in Upper Nubia for the child King Pepi the Second.
The role of the African pygmies was to perform a dance called "the dance for god" or to dance in the royal palace to rejoice the king's heart.
The Egyptian dwarfs had a deformity in their bodies. A big head, a normal trunk, and short arms and legs characterized these dwarfs. These dwarfs were frequently placed in charge of pet animals. The Egyptian dwarfs also engaged in jewelry making.
Since the beginning of the Middle Kingdom, they served as attendants to their masters. The most famous Egyptian dwarf was Seneb, who lived during the Fifth Dynasty. He was a high official with many social, religious, and honorary titles. He was married to a normal-sized woman and he was buried in a magnificent tomb, close to King Khufu's pyramid at the Giza necropolis.