This is the Male Unicorn, painted by Helen Mishkin
You know how when you notice something you don’t usually think about, you start to notice it everywhere?
When our kids, Chessie and Griffin and were younger, we would always attend the little carnival that was held once a year at the local elementary school . It was fun. We won several goldfish that were all named “Muskrat” and I once won a prize too! It was a little key chain with a plastic quagga on it. I was thrilled! Quaggas are one of those things that you never think about (why would you?) then suddenly, once you start noticing them, you start noticing them everywhere.
Quaggas are an extinct type of equine, thought to be very genetically similar to a “Steppe Zebra”. Quaggas had very interesting markings. Unlike zebras, they had brown bodies that shaded from solid tan on their rear ends to darker brown with narrow, creamy colored zebra-like stripes on their heads and shoulders.
Now I started hearing about quaggas everywhere, it seemed.
The brilliant kid’s book “Katturan Oddesy” illustrated by by Terryl Whitlatch features “Quigga”, a Quagga as a lead character.
Coincidentally, the wonderful all-volunteer carved carousel they are building in Albany, Oregon has the same quagga character as one of its “horses”.
Then I heard about the “Quagga Project” a breeding program in South Africa that is attempting to re-create quaggas by breeding plains zebras to have quagga like markings. They seem to be succeeding! I found plush quaggas , illustrations and cartoons about quaggas. By now I am becoming obsessed with quaggas- then Helen sends us a baby unicorn painted like a quagga!
Oh my god! I loved it so much I pestered her until she had painted a whole unicorn family for us. I love Helen’s paint jobs in the first place, but I loved these quagga-unicorns so much I considered re-sculpting the unicorns to have upright quagga manes just to make them more realistic. Due to the huge amount of work piled on our mold making department at the moment, I knew we couldn’t wait for that to happen, so here is the Male unicorn, with a long flowing mane, painted by Helen (Arlla, on the forum) Mishkin in Quagga finery. He is just gorgeous. Something about the intricate stripes and softly blended tans and greys flowing together and the beautiful dorsal stripe sends me into raptures.
If you want to become quagga obsessed like me, here are some links I found to neat stuff about them:
Here is a link to the Albany Carousel website, with a picture of the Quagga figure: http://www.albanybrassring.com/
Here is a link to the book “Katurran Odesssy”: http://www.katurranodyssey.com/gallery.html
The Quagga project; they are trying to re-create quaggas from zebras! There is a bunch of great photos and pictures of the extinct quaggas as well as the new ones they are breeding: http://www.quaggaproject.org/the-quagga-project.htm
Here is one more link I had to add, a plush quagga! http://www.nochinaplush.com/quagga.htm