Sleepless dreams are sure to be a bit more pleasant if they happen in colour at least, so here’s the full colour version of the previous illustration’s linework.
To lay in silence, waiting for the sleep to take over as the moons go by, the thoughts travel as if they grew wings, holding on under the starry sky. The key so close that you can almost reach for it, and yet, still out of reach – for now.
Portugal is typically known as a country of sailors and fishermen, and many are the tales of glorious journeys, discoveries of unknown lands, cultures, treasure and also death.
When it came to shipwrecks the men, in their sublime rudeness expressed their sense of loss and belief in something extraordinary, moved by religion and superstition. And so came to be the idea that when a helpless ship got lost at sea or was devoured by a storm’s cruel waves, the soul of its Captain would rise and roam alone, eternally lost.
They respectfully called them “Alma de Mestre”, literally translated to “Soul of Meister”, and they would forever wail amongst the night ocean’s waves until their bodies could be set on the earth and finally reach Paradise.
In truth, the wailing sounds the sailors claimed to hear were nothing else but the plaintive sounds of birds called storm petrels that come to fish at night and thus the Portuguese sailors dubbed them too, “Alma de Mestre”.
It is a tragic memory left behind and yet another testimony of human sacrifice and desire to go further beyond.
Nice try, but a mask won’t hide a voice she can recognize!
Portugal is a land of many traditions and among them, there’s one in particular that has been officially recognized as part of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO this month of December 2019! It is none other than the Caretos from Podence, in Trás-os-Montes e Alto-Douro, Portugal. A millenarian tradition celebrated in Winter, but festivities are more intense on Shrove Tuesday and its previous day.
There are several speculations about its origin and it’s believed to have Celtic roots, from a pre-Roman period. Probably related to the existence of the Gallaeci and Bracari in Galicia and North of Portugal.
A rather interesting theory also speaks of the connection to the Roman Saturnalia, the agricultural god Saturn and Lupercalia festivities, in honour of Pan, god of shepherds and flocks. And when you think of satyrs and their chase on the nymphs… Well, let’s keep going.
The Caretos are creatures that blur the lines stipulated by religion and profanity, born yearly when groups of men and boys dress in Continue reading
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.