Sunday, April 10, 2016

Akka Women Warriors WisCon40

Akka is a Saami fertility goddess. Akka is also an open source toolkit for building applications on the JVM. Kinda cool in that I just named this figure yesterday from my backpack of Names To Use in Future, and found this technie stuff going on. Etymology: from the Greek word meaning to hide. Urban dictionary defines it the same as whinging. Going akka at the club. A Dravidian word with the same sense as mother. This searching stuff is what makes me happy. If you dig wide, you can find trivia that supports whatever premise you start conjuring. I like significant naming protocols for fiction. Especially if those parameters are just in my head. That's where story lives, yes?

I have constructed figures when I need to see what I'm writing or thinking about. I started doing this when I began to go akka about the absence of women in pop culture. This began when my niece was born. Try finding a diverse angel at the Hallmark store in 1992. Or books that feature all girls, or girls at all. Or calendars. Cards. Movies. I made my own. When I spotted history altered to credit men, I made a figure. One of the first was a kabuki dancer. Women created kabuki theatre. Until the Edo period, when women were banned from performing. Prestigious newspapers got it wrong covering the influence on Bowie. Rewritten history. When I get mad about women being stuffed in the back, I create a positive image.

Creating characters in real world transforms the women in story world. Akka was just a cool action figure I bought in a lot. She had green plastic molded hair and a green face. She's articulated everywhere, including some shoulder action that looks like armor. But she wanted to be softer, less martial. I razored off her plastic hair, and gave her gray curls. Her undertop is made from scraps of a pair of leather gloves that the same niece played with in the snow. The pants are from a pair of winter tights. The vest is a sale item I grabbed from Hazel Street Designz. The rawhide skirt is a scrap from a Gathering Society day of making canteens. The boots are suede with treaded soles. I bought those. Because wow. Her staff is a wood dowel wrapped with flax. I was given the flax from the collection of a dollmaker who is now in a nursing home. The flax smells wonderful.

I don't know yet which story this character will populate. She may be part of a group of deity/tech women who are hiding out on an obscure planet. And what would a goddess of fertility do on a moon that does not feature in utero reproduction? Sounds like AI to me. A detail to be expanded in the backstory development.

Akka will be joining her 12 sister warriors at the WisCon40 Art Show in Madison, Wisconsin during Memorial Day weekend. For those who won't be at WisCon, a 4x6 art print of Akka is available at my etsy shop.

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