Thursday, January 31, 2013

"I'll be hideous"

Now I know at one point we discussed Princess Amenirdis and her long perilous journey from her kingdon, Kerma, to the old Kerma, just south of the third cataract.  As periously stated, when she and her group arrived there, they foun abolutely nothing.  It was completely in ruins.  Things only get worse from there for her.  You see, this was during the time when the slave trade was at its peak, and a pretty young girl usually sold for a lot, not to mention the pretty young girl was travelling with others who could be taken.  Kerma, isolated and hidden away on an island, was completely secluded from the rest of the gorwing world, so they were a bit behind in technology, and missing some useful things: such as guns.  So when they are surrounded by men who can shoot them instantly from a distance, they have no choice but to hide as best they can to buy them time.  The princess hides in the rocks with her body guard, Tarek, and the high priest, Piye.  They have to finds a way to make her less noticable around the slave hunters.  Being a princess, Amenirdis has very magical powers, especially when it comes to weaving.  Piye helps her weave together an illusion, making her an ugly old hag.  Tarek: "Give her a squint.  Thin, lank graying hair.  Protruding, snagggled teeth.  Some strategically placed warts . . . hairy ones. Wrinkled, blotchy skin.  A bit of a hunch to her back, so she can't stand straight.  Make her shorter, so everyone will look down on her.  Make her thin up top, and fat beloow."  
Wow, it's like he had it all planned out, as if he were waiting for the moment to turn her into a hidious old woman.  My favorite part of that was the 'strategically placed warts'.  Ha, who had ever heard of such a thing.  They cast this spell on her shawl, so that when she wears it, she becomes this awful image that Tarek invisioned, but without it she can still be her beautiful self.  This takes a lot of her energy out of her so she just passes out for the rest of the day, but when she awakens, she is seized by the slave hunters.  Nice timing.  To go with this new look, she took on a new name, to keep away any recognition that she was an African princess.  They are marched back from Egypt to Calabar, a port on the West Coast of the continent, many died along the way.  Unfortunately, the ones who remained were sent on the infamous mid-Atlantic passage, cross the Atlantic to the New World where they would be sold onto plantaitons.  Conviniently, Ayisha, Piye, and Tarek were the only slaves of that group not to fall in either of those categories. Tarek and Aysiha were sold to the Dalton's plantation outside Calabar.  She worked inside weaving cloth, her specialty, as Tarek (a big strong man) worked in the fields.
Where Piye was sold, Ayisha didn't know yet, so she quickly learned English as best she could to pick up any conversations in search of his whereabouts.  As I said, she has quite the skill when it comes to weaving and making cloth, which she became well knwon for in Calabar.  Women around would ask her to make things for them.  While Mrs. Dalton got most of the money, Ayisha was able to collect coins for her services.  She kept completely secret the fact that she was learning English becuase it was her means to escaping slavery.  She planned to keep enough of her money together and then one day finally run away on a ship with Piye and Tarek using her money and English to get them away.  However, little did she know that a certain pirate was about to do it for free.  I wonder who that could be?

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