Harwa was the Grand Steward of the Divine Adoratrice Amenirdis II, one of the most important positions in the theocratic state of Amun at Thebes. Harwa held this position for about forty years from the time of Piankhy, serving under the Nubian pharaohs Shabaqa (713-698 B.C.) and Shebitqo (698-690 B.C.), until the reign of Taharqa (690-664 B.C.). He built a vast tomb in the Asasif (TT 37), a few yards from the funerary temple of Hatshepsut in Deir el Bahari.
A small number of serpentine shabtis are known, including one in University College London, and two in Cairo Museum.
Cf. E. Porter and R.L.B. Moss, J. Málek (ed.), Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings, I, The Theban Necropolis, Part I, Private Tombs, Oxford, 1970, p. 68, no. 37; H. D. Schneider, Shabtis, II, Leiden, 1977, p. 154, pl. 118; and F. Tiradritti, Il cammino di Harwa. L'uomo di fronte al mistero: l'Egitto, exhibition catalogue, Brescia, October 1999 - January 2000.