A Portuguese Folktale: Story from Below the Ground

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Art by StarTwo
BelowTheGround_StarTwo

One of the most wonderful things about folktales is how at times they become fragments of universal tales and mythology from places far from its origins, preserving old wisdom and wonder where science and logic can’t reach.
Today’s tale bares similarities in its themes with Lucius Apuleius’ Metamorphoses in which is included a story regarding the overcoming of obstacles between Psyche and Eros and their union at last in sacred marriage.
So here begins…

Story from Below the Ground
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A Portuguese Folktale – The Ingratitude of Children

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Art by StarTwoSonsIngratitude

He that gives his goods before he’s dead, take up a mallet and knock him on the head (Scottish verse)

Elderly people who trick their ungrateful children into caring for them is yet another recurrent theme in the world of folktales.

The first records of such tales appear in the Middle Ages and spread across Europe, but the theme also appears in places as far as Kashmir and Sri Lanka.
As for the Portuguese version, we found one nearly identical to the German story, though the latter is shorter and provides dialogue to the characters, and also sets the number of daughters to three, unlike the Portuguese version, where there are only two daughters (guess the Portuguese decided to be more cost-effective).
Let us narrate the StarTwo translated adaptation of the next folktale.

The Ingratitude of Children

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A Portuguese Folktale: The Magician ~ Lines

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Art by StarTwo
TheMagicianLines_Startwo

This is the linework where you can see clearly all the elements we picked for this Magician’s apprentice illustration.
Each one of them is meant to link to the story, so make sure you don’t miss it by reading the tale and see the full version of the original illustration. You can quickly go there by clicking on the link below!

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Click here to see the story and full colour illustration!

★stay inspired!★

Creature Feature – The Enchanted Moorish Maiden ~ Lines

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Art by StarTwo
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Our Enchanted Moorish Maiden still lingers waiting for someone to break the curse, knowing that freedom will require someone with bravery – and knowledge of the dangers.  Here are the lines from her Creature Feature full colour post.

★Stay inspired★

A Portuguese Folktale: The Magician

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TheMagician_Startwo

Today’s folktale was first transcribed in 1879 and it’s a recurrent theme in folktales around the world, this theme being of a magical restraint.
It also happens that similar versions of this tale can be found in Russia, Italy and Great Britain and here from Portugal there are two main versions: one from the south of the country and another from the north.
We present to you our translation (and adaptation) of the southern version since it’s a bit cheekier, in our opinion!
Without further ado, let’s begin!

THE MAGICIAN

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Creature Feature – The Enchanted Moorish Maiden

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MouraEncantada_StarTwoSM

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 – Almond Trees ~ Lines

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AmendoeirasLines_Startwo

Here we go, another little snippet of lines underneath a finished illustration.

We shared its colour counterpart on our last post “A Portuguese Folktale – Almond Trees”. It spoke about the love that was almost cut short with the sickness of the “Northen Beauty”, doomed if not for the beautiful Almond Trees.

Despite the strain on getting it right, just like rendering hair, facial hair has its potential when it comes to therapeutic inking~

★Have a great week and stay inspired★