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.


  1. Wow intriguing folklore. Your interpretation is beautifully executed with your choice of fabrics. bravo

  2. A very interesting story and very good choice of colours, which created the depth in the mountains. Terich Mir really dominates. I would not like to meet Hamasti, neither in the dark nor during the day. As always beautiful handstitching. Well done.

  3. I like your choice of fabrics ! and the story behind your quilt is very interesting.
    Beautiful stitching as usual !

  4. What a scary legend! Your illustration is great. I particularly like the fabric choices for the landscape.

  5. The Terich Mir is a very impressive snow capped mountain that is a perfect backdrop for the scary, ghostlike creature. Great job interpreting and combining the two tales. Well done.

  6. I loved your reference to local folklore .
    very good fabric and colors.

  7. A great choice of fabrics! The Halmasti is really scary. Good use of techniques.

  8. I like the way that you have combined two folklore images into this design. The backdrop is beautifully worked and the fabric you have used for Halmasti is perfect to give the surreal ghostlike appearance. Well done

  9. Folklore is a great source for imagery and you have done a fine job in interpreting the Halmasti.

  10. studiociboulette

    Fantastic way of illustrating. I love your choice of colors and your attention to details. Bravo!

  11. A great interpretation of the folklore images of Pakistan, the snowy mountain and the scary Halmasti. Great choice of fabrics too. Folklore is always an endless source of inspiration isn’t it? Well done!

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