La Siguanaba is a 36-second-long animation that features a cute and unsettling shape-shifting spirit from Central America.
La Siguanaba was a Pipil woman named Sihuehet-Nahuat for ‘beautiful woman.’ Sihuehet had an affair with a son of the god Tlaloc, resulting in an unwanted pregnancy. Sihuehet became a neglectful mother that was more interested in caring for her lover than her son. Consequently, Tlaloc cursed her by transforming her once-beautiful face into a putrefied horse-skull. Tlaloc renamed her Sihuanaba-Nahuat, for ‘horrendous woman,’ and forced her to roam around rivers and the countryside haunting unfaithful men and looking for her son.
At first sight, she appears to be a mesmerizing woman with long dark hair, pale skin, and a slender body. But, upon closer inspection, she reveals her true self, a frighteningly ugly monstrosity. The fright caused by her appearance can lead to insanity and sometimes death. Though the name of this spirit varies slightly in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, her appearance and actions remain unchanged.
This legend has been passed down through the tradition of oral storytelling, and there are virtually no time-based visual representations of this spirit. Upon realizing this, the artist saw the opportunity to depict La Siguanaba’s transformation in full detail using frame-by-frame animation in Photoshop. This project is concerned with revisiting traditional Latin American folklore and representing it through contemporary styles.
As a Latin artist, Daniela believes it is important to keep these traditions alive in a world that is becoming increasingly globalized and more distanced from its roots
Daniela Szeőke is a 19-year-old illustrator, painter, and sculptor working in her home city of Calgary, Alberta. Szeőke uses a variety of mediums to promote multiculturalism and the representation of minority groups. She credits her Venezuelan-Hungarian background and family connection as the main source of her artistic inspiration. Through her work, Szeőke intends to spread her love for her culture while discussing more complex topics such as cultural identity, politics, sexism, racism, and environmentalism.
Visit Daniela's website to learn more about herself and her work.
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