Fairy Harem: Mana Picture

Photo of my watercolor piece finished February 2012.

The concept fo this first arose when I was planning a self-protrait. I was trying to aim for a personally significant piece, highlighting my imagination's detachment from reality. At first, I wanted to make it culturally significant to the Philippines, my birth and home country, but then I realized that I do not really identify with the Philippines enough to feel the need to include its significance (or lack thereof) in my daily life.

This creature is called a Mananangal, literally translating to "the one who takes away/separates". This describes a monster who is a beautiful woman that separates at the waist at night to prey on young children and pregnant women. The true nature of this myth is still quite vague, as the Mananangal arose as evil during the time where the Philippines was under Spanish rule. Because of this, much of our mythological creatures were deemed as "bad" because of their secular nature.

I have combined this with the role of The Blue Fairy from The Adventures of Pinocchio. Her role as a helper and mother figure is disproportionate to the Mananangal's monstrous nature, though the juxtaposition of this emphasizes the duality of good and evil. No one knows whether the Mananangal was supposed to be absolutely good or absolutely bad. And this is the final product of that thought process: the Blue Fairy, Mana, of my Fairy Harem.

The other two Mananangal in this portfolio are two more images expressing the lines of good and bad that are so very blurry around the history of the Mananangal's nature.

(c) Sabrina Silverio, 2012

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