Views of an Imaginary City IX – A Neighbourhood Beauty Remembered


A Neighbourhood Beauty Remembered: Narimoa in Peleosti

It is not uncommon in the older neighbourhoods of Sensuka to come across a narimoa, a monument to a local beauty. The majority of these statues were created around a century and a half ago, when the Emperor Bulodi III decreed the formation of neighbourhood councils to oversee the day-to-day affairs of the city’s various subdivisions. This development led to a renewed sense of neighbourhood pride, which in turn led to the widespread desire in each district to erect civic monuments that would testify to this sense of local belonging. The content of these monuments was left to the district councils, which were naturally composed mainly of old men. It was therefore inevitable that one of the local deliberations on this matter should conclude with the misty-eyed recollection of a particular local beauty who had driven the council members to distraction during their youth. Thus it was decided to erect a statue representing this girl, who had died or moved away long ago, as a kind of embodiment of everything the men held dear about their small corner of the city. This charming idea could not fail to catch on, and soon almost all of the local districts had their own narimoa (“local love”), as these statues came to be called, immortalizing their own fondly-remembered enchantresses. These narimoa, the products of a peaceful and generally happy –if at times somewhat melancholy- era, went out of fashion following the Seventeen Years War, after which time commemorative monuments to slaughtered young men became the preferred signifiers of local community spirit.

This timeworn narimoa in the central neighbourhood of Peleosti represents the daughter of a baker who had a shop in nearby Redina street. This was in the time when the district council members who ordered the statues’ construction had been children. The girl had been just a few years older than they were then, and how their hearts once used to contort with agony and anticipation –oh, that wonderful agony, where did that feeling go?- when their mothers would send them out with six shillings to buy a loaf of bread and s-six c-c-currant b-buns, please… n-n-n-n-no, t-thank you… t-t-that’s all…

This entry was posted in illustration, Imaginary City, painting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Views of an Imaginary City IX – A Neighbourhood Beauty Remembered

  1. I’m glad you liked it!


  2. Saturn With Earrings says:

    Oh that was adorable 🙂 I love the idea of local legends.


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