The female devotees of the wine-god Dionysus, thus also called Bacchae and Bacchantes. Inspired by him to ecstatic frenzy, they accompany him in his wanderings and as his priestesses carry out his orgiastic rites. In their wild frenzy they tear animals apart and devour the raw flesh. They are represented crowned with vine leaves, clothes in fawnskins and carrying the thyrsus, and dancing with the wild abandonment of complete union with primeval nature.