Last week, Alex and I were posting teasers about our new novelette, Hisses and Wings, on Facebook. We were looking for pictures that tied into the actual story itself, and one of the pictures that we used was that of the Indalo Man. He intrigued enough people that I promised I would blog about him and tell you a little more about what he represents and why he is in the story.
Generally, whenever I'm working on any story that is set in a location I've never visited, I like to do a little research for any small touches that might resonate with a particular area. Authenticity is often best conveyed in the details, and in the case of Hisses and Wings, the Indalo Man was one of those details.
The first representation of the Indalo Man was found in Spain in the province of Almeria when Antonio Gongónia y Martinez discovered a series of Neolithic paintings in La Cueva de los Letreros in 1868. The paintings are thought to date back to the Neolithic period, and the Indalo Man is present among scenes of horned men and animals.
The Indalo Man is thought to represent a god holding a rainbow over his head, although no one really knows the true meaning behind the figure. The name "Indalo" is a derivative of the Latin phrase “Indo Eccius”, which means “Messenger of the Gods.” What is known about the figure is that the Indalo Man has always been used as a good luck symbol, much in the same manner as the Kokopelli of the southwestern United States.
He was found in the southeastern corner of Spain in a town called Mojacar, which is a semi-desert, very much like southwestern portions of the United States. As a matter of fact, portions of Almeria were used by Sergio Leone for his spaghetti westerns of the sixties and seventies. During the mid-nineteenth century, the area suffered a severe drought, and small towns like Mojacar were slowly depopulated as people moved north to take advantage of industrialized jobs within the cities.
By the mid-twentieth century, the population of Mojacar had dropped to around three hundred residents. It was about this time that Jesús de Perceval, a disciple of the Barcelonan philosopher, Eugenio d’Or, helped resurrect the area. De Perceval was a Spanish painter who founded the Movimiento Indaliano in the 1950s and brought a large number of artists to Mojacar. De Perceval made the Indalo Man the symbol of his new movement, and from there, the Indalo Man became, not just a local and provincial good luck symbol, but also a symbol that was associated with art and artists.
And that is where the Indalo Man ties into Hisses and Wings. A couple of years ago, I wrote a story with a group of characters that I wanted to turn into a series. For some reason, I set the story on the Iberian Peninsula in 1348. I thought it would be easy to find sources on that time period, and it was, but few were in English. However, I was diligent and uncovered more and more history about the Iberian Peninsula that caused me to fall in love with Spain and its rich, diverse history. As I wrote the novel, this particular group of characters won my heart, and while that version of their lives wasn't published, the characters stayed with me.
So I have resurrected them in a very soft mimicry of how de Perceval resurrected Mojacar, and placed them in Spain where they belong. They are Nephilim, or, as it is spelled in Spanish, Los Nefilim. They are the sons and daughters of angels and daimons who have coupled with mortals, and their souls are so strong, they move from one incarnation to another and remember their past lives. They also work their magic through music, but not in the same way as Alex's Tufa, and the Indalo Man is as much a part of their culture as the songs of the Tufa are to them.
When Alex and I were bumping around possible ideas for a story, we decided to see what would happen if a member of the Tufa met up with a member of Los Nefililm. I'm really kind of excited that you get to finally meet Diago, one of my favorite characters. The Indalo Man makes an appearance, although for now, I won't say how. If you want to find out, you can check out Hisses and Wings, which is coming this Thursday, December 4, 2014. You can read a little more about the novelette right here.
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