Sunday, February 06, 2011

Old Stories – Çufo (1995)

Another story with historical background, this time inspired on a real character, João Machado, born in the north of Portugal in the last decades of the 15th century and exiled young to serve on the ships of the trade with India to expiate an unnamed crime. Left by himself or with a companion in the eastern coast of Africa, possibly entrusted with a risky mission, he travels instead to India where he enters the service of several local lords under the name of Çufo (Sufo). As the captain of foreign troops of Yusuf Adil Sha, king of Bijapur and lord of Goa, he sees the siege laid by the fleet of Afonso de Albuquerque to this town. After being the perfect go-between in the war between Albuquerque and the Sha, he finally leans to the side of Albuquerque and joins his troops, this time inside the fortress. He is then nominated captain of the local troops under Portuguese rule in Goa and is sacrificed, along with many of his men, when covering the retreat of more aristocratic companions of arms after a foolish attack these led against an Indian town.

I recently recovered sketches and an earlier version of the beginning of the story that were lent for an exhibition, years ago (otherwise they wouldn’t have probably survived), and paired them with some finished pages.

Like the story in the previous post, the book is also only available on public libraries, like this one (Bedeteca Ideal).

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