Fine Art Fables: Why The Sun and the Moon live in the sky


This short Nigerian folktale explains, quite obviously by its title, why the sun and the moon live in the sky. The story was officially published in 1910 in Folk Stories from Southern Nigeria, West Africa, by the British colonial official, Elphinstone Dayrell. However, as we know from the Brothers Grimm and other fairytale publications, the oral traditions of the story are actually much older.

In this tale, the sun, moon, and water are personified. The sun and moon are married, and are friends with water. They all lived on earth together. However, water could never visit the house of the sun and moon because their home was not big enough. The sun promised to build a large compound where water would be able to visit. So, when water came, the house was filled with water, forcing the sun and the moon to the rooftop, and then into the sky where they have remained ever since. 

I decided to create a piece that focuses on the personifications of the sun and the moon characters of this folktale being forced into the sky. Therefore, their bodies are perched in the heavens high above the ocean. 

Sierra Iverson

My name is Sierra Snow Iverson, and I'm a junior pursing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design. I have a focus in animation and film due to my intense interest in storytelling. However, I have a background in Illustration and 2D Design. The content of my postings will center around fables and myths from around the world through a combination of illustrations and written material.

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