With permission from lettherebedoodles I decided to take their amazing Racebent Disney Princess Series and, rather than just seeing them as different versions of the original characters, give them stories and fairy tales of their own. I plan on doing their entire series- hopefully I won’t disappoint!
Some of the stories will be based on the culture the new heroine is based on, and others will be stories from other cultures (such as ‘traditional’ western fairy tales), even real life people will inspire these Disney-style Princesses and Heroines. But please remember-this is all for fun. I’m not pretending to be an expert on any of this. I’ll try my best to do right by these characters and cultures, and if there is something horribly offensive, please let me know how I can fix it.
Based on the fairy tale The Black Bull of Norroway, Munyal is the story of a Titrit, the energetic and cheerful youngest daughter of a family of cow herders in West Africa. Her family travels a lot, but never stays in one place for long. Titrit’s older brothers always tease her, but the family is very happy. But she always wishes that they would stay in one place- she’s tired of always leaving behind her new friends.
Then one day, while out guarding the cattle at night, a enormous bull, so black that it looked like a cloudy night sky, and able to talk. He promises her that he has a way will her travel the world almost instantly- and that way, visit all of her friends whenever she wants. All Titrit has do is first sit very, very still.
Important Note: Honestly, the EXTREME difficulty in finding African folklore that wasn’t dumbed down for (white American) audiences or solely African-American slave folklore from the US was one of the reasons it has taken me so damn long to finish this series. It’s incredibly frustrating. I ended up going with a Scottish story I’m familiar with, because of the nomadic herding culture present in this area. I’ve never been so aware of how frustrating and disappointing it must be for anyone of African descent, especially those affected by diaspora, to try and find out about what their heritage might have been like. And what I was going for here was simplistic compared to that. The best I could do is the title- Munyal is a word from the Fulani code of behavior called pulaaku. It roughly has to do with a cross between strength and courage in adversity and a stoic acceptance or endurance of the supposedly pre-ordained vicissitudes of life. It is often translated as patience.
Sorry I couldn’t do better :(
Sayyida al Hurra- Pursuit
Loosely based on the real life story of Sayyida al Hurra, the last woman in Islamic history to legitimately hold the title of “al Hurra”, or Queen. She was also the undisputed leader of the pirates from the Mediterranean.
Her whole life, Sayyida traveled. First, when she was younger, her family was exiled. Determined to make the people who did that pay, she takes up piracy and began raiding. Clever, resourceful, and as fierce as the sea, she soon becomes the leader of pirates. One day, she captures the ship of the King of Morocco and the two of them begin a strange relationship as he chases the Pirate Queen in an attempt to catch her. Despite falling in love, they keep up the elaborate game, one ruler of the seas and one ruler of a country.
Important Note: I do not know very much about Islamic history and it was super unclear whether Sayyida was a name, a title, or an honorific, so if this is an incorrect way to refer to her, let me know and I will fix it.
P.S. If anyone has any resources on African (specifically Luo/West Niletic/East African- think the Jasmine edit) stories, folktales, even modern fiction, please let me know. I’m having a lot of trouble with it.
Tanabata is an event related to the stars. It is based on the legend that only once a year, Hikoboshi (Cow herder) and Orihime (Weaving Princess), two lovers, would be allowed to meet each other at the shores of the heavenly river. The moment would take place on the night of July 7th in the lunisolar calendar.