Flower of Ch'aska

7 500 €
Ch'aska Aya Ayar got her first name later in life after the Incan goddess Ch'aska. The young girl would sit high up in the mountains every evening and bathe in the pink and orange light of the sun as it set behind the hills. The townsfolk gave her this nickname from the radiant warmth she would bring down with her when she would return, a serene glow seemed to emanate from her and tint the grey stone buildings in wonderful colours as she strolled back home. 
The goddess herself noticed this young woman, and rather than being envious or angry at having her name used in this fashion as most deities would, she sensed the good in the soul of Aya Ayar and eventually grew fond of the girl. Being the goddess of dusk, she would often find the young incan woman admiring the colours, the smells and the sounds of the sunset, and this appreciation of her work in turn made the goddess more appreciative of humans, especially of Aya. 

Not everyone was thrilled with how loved and favored Aya was though, and one day a small group of jealous townsfolk decided to follow her up the mountain to see what tricks she was playing to appear so gifted. They started to hear her talking to somebody, and quietly crept nearer. To their disbelief, Aya Ayar had been talking - romancing even, with a man from their rival village. This man from one of the most hated families in their rival kingdom would travel every night over the mountains to talk to his beloved Ch'aska Aya Ayar, and the small group ensured that news of this betrayal would very quickly reach the governing council of her village.

Dismayed that one of the most prestigious families could dishonour themselves in this way, they decided to organise a secret hunting party to arrest her and bring Aya to justice, as well as take the opportunity to capture a favored son of their most hated rivals.

It happened very quickly one evening, just as the goddess Ch'aska began her divine work and the sky had started to take on a beautiful hue of green, purple and orange. Trained as a ranger and frequently traveling the mountains and forests, the man from the rival village, who's name remains unknown to this day, sensed danger and before they could spring their ambush, the couple fled deep into the trees. 
They ran away as quickly as they could, and were about to make it over a cliff to safety, but after a while the frenzied hunting party caught up with them and, sensing their prey getting away from them, let loose a hail of arrows at the couple. The man from the rival village embraced his love and turned her just in time to catch the first evil arrows in his back. 

As the myth goes, the goddess of dusk had been paying close attention to this persecution. Chaska was moved by this final act of pure love, and felt deep sorrow at the idea of losing her most precious disciple in such a cruel way. 
As soon as the first black arrow pierced the skin of the young man,  the whole sky turned purple, the dark orange sun stood still in the sky as Ch'aska abandoned her duties to intervene. The man became rooted in place, the arrows now jutting out of him became spikes as the dusk goddess turned the dying man into a cactus plant. In his dying embrace, Aya Ayar writhed and twisted, bright and beautiful colours sprouting from beneath her skin as she became the first cactus flower, an eternal reflection of that one incan girls' beautiful spirit.

Material: oil on canvas
Dimensions: 100x150 cm (39"x59")
Created: June 2022 in Palma-de-Mallorca

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