The Enchanted Moorish Maiden

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The plea of StarTwo’s enchanted Moorish Maiden. “Oh noble traveller, save me…”

If you happen, wondrous traveller, to find yourself roaming by the moonlight and chance upon the ruins of a castle or wet your feet in a cooling river or ocean waters, beware of the enchanting, warm voice beckoning you to come closer and hear its sultry plea with promises of riches and eternal flesh made human again, to be forever yours.

There are enchanted Moors in the land of Portugal and if you can not bring them salvation, they will most certainly bring you doom.

Moorish Maidens or Enchanted Moorish Maidens are fantastic spirits and according to traditional folktales and legends, they are princesses of great beauty and are known to be dangerous seductresses.
They are obliged to live in certain places, in a supernatural stupor until a certain chain of events releases them from their curse and most stories do speak of the incidents that made them become spellbound, the main ones being that the Maidens fell in love with Christians and by consequence were forsaken and cursed by their families, or as daughters of Moors with magical powers who depart in warring campaigns against their enemies, are left eternally enchanted as means to protect the treasures their fathers left behind.

The ways to free a Moorish Maiden from her enchantment are usually also revealed – by the Maiden herself, as she uses all her charms and otherworldly beauty to make those that hear her feel tempted into aiding her, while ignoring the risks. These usually involve tasks that range from an apparent simplicity to tricky demands such as offering a salt-less bread, milk, to proclaiming certain words and resisting the urge to look at a curiosity inducing matter and of course, giving the Maiden a kiss.

To fail completing these tasks means doubling the enchantment on the Maiden, dooming her forever and losing her and the treasures she is guarding, not to mention putting your life at risk as well.

It’s in the south of Portugal, due to the historical Moorish invasions that these tales and legends became intertwined with the origin of city names and castles which were built by the Moors. Although a Christian country, paganism was a normal happening and the supernatural mixed with the real to create these folktales about amazing treasures and the tragic Maidens that guard them for eternity.

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A Moorish Maiden in Vila de Moura’s Coat of Arms

To this day, many believe they still haunt several places (especially in the region of Algarve), maybe a means to keep some modern Indiana Jones away.

But are Enchanted Moorish Maidens truly just related to Moorish princesses?
Then, what of the Marwo of Celtic origins, present in northern Portuguese folklore and Galicia, way before these lands ever saw a Moorish invader?

That will be a subject we will gladly share with you on a future post, where we shall compare these mystical, beautiful Maidens that populate Portugal’s rich folklore! This was a particularly charming theme to illustrate and we tried to mix both the mysticism of the Maiden and her sultry charm with the danger that lurks if you pay attention and don’t fall for her charms right away.

★We wish you a wonderful weekend and stay inspired★

A Portuguese Folk Tale – The Maiden’s Pearls ~ Lines Detail

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We’re revisiting the Maiden’s Pearls illustration, this time with a detail of the lines of its cascade of waves, quite fun when it came to inking how the curls turn and curve, each with it’s own twist. Also works as therapy to calm the brain!

★Have a great week and stay inspired!★

A Portuguese Folk Tale – The Maiden’s Pearls

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It’s time for another retelling of a Portuguese folk tale!

The original translated title is something to brag about when it comes to length : “The Maiden from whose Head Pearls fell on combing herself” and this one is an open proof that sometimes the oral narration of stories ends up getting some parts either jumbled up or rushed, as a key element on this story appears out of nowhere despite being essential to the plot.
Despite that, this story immediately placed irresistible imagery in our heads and there was also the universal tell-tale of envy: Careful to who you trust your good news and beware of ill intentions towards others.
And now, story time!

There was once a woman with a son who was a sailor and a daughter that helped and kept her company.
Alas one day, the woman felt Death’s grasp coming to take her away but before this happened, she called for her daughter. Continue reading

A Portuguese Folktale – Spider Groom

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Sometimes the first idea becomes a draft of a second one and that’s exactly what happened to the Folk Tale “Spider’s Bride” that we posted before.

This was our first illustration for the Spider Bride Folktale, but we felt that more than the main character, we wanted to portray a quirky yet beautiful spider turned into a human bride.

Even when a work is finished it doesn’t mean that it will be shown, just like the one above. Except we felt it was an interesting fact to share about the times when you don’t share!

Enjoy your weekend and stay inspired.

A Portuguese Folktale: D.Caio ~ Sir Fall

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I fall! I fall !

Folktales, as much as they are a thing of wonder and fantasy, they are also a thing of humor.
Nothing could be truer with the tale we present to you today: D. Caio, whose name we adapted to Sir Fall. Inspired by the brothers Grimm “The Brave Little Tailor” (the tale is also translated into Portuguese), this version from 1900 focuses more on the misconception of “Kill seven with one blow” and it’s also known in Spain as “Don Juan Bolondron mata siete de um trompom”.

About the artwork, we got a look at General attires from the 1800’s so that’s why there’s a certain French feel to it. Nevertheless, we did our very own version of such clothes as well as the colors, though blue was the color of the Portuguese Army in the sources we checked. And of course, we couldn’t resist and added the old Portuguese Royal Emblem to the horse’s saddle.

This tale has a bit more of our own flair as we had to translate and adapt it from Portuguese to English (we’re quite proud of our efforts!)  If you’d like to read it, click below and enjoy!

D.Caio – Sir Fall

Continue reading

A Portuguese Folktale: Sir Fall/D.Caio Wip

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Fun fact: Startwo has experience with both horses and mules.

Hello everyone!
This Friday we’ll share with you the (mis)adventures of one of Portugal’s bravest Generals (and totally not a fictitious individual), the amazing D.Caio whose name we translated to Sir Fall.
Look forward to see the finished work and read the story by then!

★Like always, stay inspired★

A Portuguese Folk tale: The Goat-footed Lady Wip

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Lines for the illustration of the Portuguese Folktale “The Goat-footed Lady” , and you can click the link to know about the story!

★Have a great weekend and stay inspired!★