Ayla was born in a desert land, blistering and violent. The land was racked by constant wars between feuding tribes and ancient enmity filled the air she grew up in. Her village was tucked away in the foothills, somewhat protected until her twentieth birthday. On that very day, Ayla’s home was raided by the fierce Howeitat tribe …. Her young husband, a goat herder, Gasim, and her infant son Ali were both butchered in front of her eyes while she was dragged away and taken prisoner. Through “fortunate” circumstances she became the servant in the sheik Auda’s tent for one of his ten wives. The first year of her captivity was a daze of emotional numbness. Ayla was appointed caretaker of the shiek’s baby boy, prince Indigo and her feelings gradually thawed. The shiek’s wife was frail and very ill from her unusually long labor so Ayla being healthy and strong took over as wet nurse. Her bruised heart healed while she instantly bonded with the innocent child. After a week of raging fever, the shiek’s wife gasped her final words to Ayla…”save my child, take him away”, with that the woman died. Ayla sat in silence, contemplating, realizing her lady wanted a better life for Indigo, a world away from men killing each other and women hiding their faces in subjugation. In the morning light, after visiting his nine other healthy wives, shiek Auda entered the quiet tent, empty except for the deceased form on the bed. Ayla and Indigo had vanished!
Artist: Erik & Helene Bess
Price: $950 (also available in print)
Dimensions: 21' x 37'