Carlos Zapata makes carved wood sculpture and automata. He is originally from Columbia but now lives in England. You can find more of his wonderful works on his blog: http://carloszapataautomata.blogspot.com/
As told by Charlie Edwards to Martin
and other maidens were gathering sea food on the beach one day, when one of the
shellfish slipped from her grasp and fell into deeper water. She reached
for it, and it slipped from her hand again and again, and she kept following it
until she was in deep water, well over her waist. Suddenly she realized
that what seemed to be a hand had grasped hers and was holding her there.
Terrified, she attempted to free herself, but a voice told her not to struggle
or be afraid, that she was very lovely, and he was merely holding her there so
that he could look upon her beauty. Soon her hand was released, and she
returned to her people.
After a number of
such meetings, during which the spirit held her hand longer and longer each
time, and spoke soothingly to her, telling her of the many beautiful things
which were in the sea, there came a day when a young man emerged from the
water, and accompanied her to her father’s house, to ask for her hand in
marriage. The people of the village knew not from whence he came, or who
he might be, but they noticed that in his presence they were chilled, as though
icy winds were blowing.
At first when he
asked for Ko-Kwal-alwoot’s hand, her father was indignant and said “No, my
daughter cannot go into the sea with you—she would die. “On the contrary,” said
the young man, “she will not die; we will give her eternal life, and we will be
very good to her, for I love her dearly.”
Then he warned
the father that if he could not have Ko-Kwal-alwoot for his bride, all the sea
food would be taken from them, and they would be very hungry, but the father
still would not agree. As time went on, there was a great scarcity of
food of all kinds, and even the streams started to dry up, so that they could
have no water to drink.
When she could
stand it no longer, Ko-Kwal-alwoot went out into the water, and called the
young man, begging him to give her people food. But he replied, “Tell
your father that only when you are my bride, will the waters teem with fish,
and your people may again live in plenty.”
At last her
father, realizing that his people were starving, reluctantly agreed to give up
his daughter so that the many members of his tribe might live. He made
one stipulation, however, and that was that she was to return to her people for
a visit once a year, so that they could see if she was being cared for and was
happy. This was agreed upon, and Ko-Kwal-alwoot, wrapping her garments
about her, walked into the water, farther and farther until she was out of
sight, and only her hair could be seen floating in the current.
True to the
agreement, there was food in plenty, and the tribe prospered. And
Ko-Kwal-alwoot returned to her people once each year, and before her coming
there was always more food than ever before. Still each time she came,
her people noticed more and more of a change in her. Barnacles grew upon
her hands, up to her arms, and the last time she came they had started to grow
upon the side of her face which had been so beautiful, and her people felt the
chill winds wherever she walked, and they noticed that she seemed to be
unhappy out of the sea. On her last visit they told her she did not need
to return to them again, unless it was her wish to do so.
I'm a mixed media artist living in the Southwestern United States. When I'm not in my studio I like to spend time outside observing the goings on of the bugs and birds and the passing clouds. The intricate balance between humans and the natural world is an ongoing theme in my artwork. I try to walk lightly on the earth.