Caro Higgs – Country – Literature
My inspiration is the folklore of the area.
The north-west of Pakistan doesn’t have any renowned literature, that I could find, so I reverted to folklore. There is a great tradition of oral tales, many of which are linked to the supernatural, within the realms of ghosts and spirits and set on cold winter nights.
This piece represents two different tales, that of Halmasti a wolf-like creature the size of a horse spitting flames and Terich Mir, 7708 m which is the source of two different tales.
Many truck and jeep drivers have claimed to see Halmasti running alongside their vehicles at night just before experiencing harrowing accidents. (My experience of driving at night, normally forbidden for foreigners, is that you turn your headlights off when passing an oncoming vehicle. A very harrowing experience on narrow mountain roads…)
According to the people of the Kalash valleys Tirich Mir is the domain of the goddess Krumani. She appears in the form of a wild goat and is associated with childbirth. On the other hand to the people of Chitral, who are muslim rather than polytheist, this mountain is the home of fairies and their fortress, no one may climb it as doing so will bring death to the trespasser.
I have used commercial fabrics for the sky and the nearer mountains and hand painted fabrics for Tirich Mir and the plateau in the foreground. I created Halmasti with a sun print which I then outline stitched and I added some additional colour to make him appear almost ghostlike against the background which is intensively hand stitched.