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- 1 Cultural Overview
- 2 Family
- 3 Religion
- 4 Ceremonial
- 5 Diet
- 6 Fashion
- 7 Leisure Activities
- 8 Arts
- 9 Time
- 10 Persons
- 11 Stories
- 12 See Also
Structure / Size
Roles of Family Members
- So much of the Layoran way of life is about the ancestors, and family, that being an orphan is a curse. Ignored by society, except for the occasional scrap from a sympathetic soul. Orphans often find life is short unless they can find a way to secure food and shelter. Often this takes the form of indentured servatude, slightly above full thralldom, depending on one's parentage. Occasionally, women who have recently lost a infant child will adopt an orphan to fill the void in their heart, but it is a rare occurrence.
- The Layor will subsume captured persons into their communities, but generally as slaves/thralls, and most Layor would not desire children with such individuals. Sexual relations between a thrall and his/her master are not prohibited, and should a child result they will be acknowledged as the bastard offspring of the parent with the higher social standing if known. Such children would have a place in the home and family of their parent. They may be overstepped in some matters like inheritance, but even that can be overcome by a successful efforts to prove one's worth.
- To the Layor their ancestors are their guides and deserve respect for their ways. Doing things radically different from the status quo, or behaving in a dishonourable manner will bring disapproval.
- To most outsiders they Layor seem backwards and primitive at times. They are slow to embrace new ideas of foreign origin. Relying on the wisdom of their ancestors often means a visionary wont be realized until after their death.
List of Religious Observances
- Long Nights
- The Layor and Kronar (culture) peoples believe that malevolent spirits hunt during the long dark nights of winter and anyone caught will be drained of all blood left frozen for the carrion birds to find in the morning. They light great bonfires during the winter solstice to keep such spirits at bay.
- The Layor do not make a big deal about the passing of years. to them time is not a set of steps, but a continuous flow. That being said there is still a moment when a child is considered an adult.
- For girls, it is the time of their first menses; a quiet family affair, followed by the donning of an adult woman's tunic to be worn thence forth showing that she is no longer a child, and now a woman of her people, who earns the privileges of her new status.
- For boys it is a less definitive event; about twelve to thirteen years, depending on the season of birth, boys whom are successful in a hunt, bringing down or scoring the first penetrating hit upon a quarry larger than a hunting cat. This act signifies the young man is capable of providing for his people. After a ceremony involving the wearing of the dead animal's head, and hide as a cape, he is considered a man of his people and is thenceforth considered an adult and earns the privileges appropriate to his new status.
- Amongst the Layoran peoples someone who is too old to be a contributing member of society, is usually assisted in joining the ancestors through a ceremonial euthanasia. This is a time of mixed emotions, but generally seen as an honourable act. Better to die in the presence of family, and celebration of one's life, than to wither away in ones bed.
- Choosing when to die is part of Layoran culture. However, suicide is considered shameful unless it is done ceremonially and with knowledge that the person is really at the end of their life. Checking out early puts a burden on ones family, as they have to work harder with one less pair of hands. The lands of the Layoran peoples are harsh and somewhat unforgiving, so it is seen as dishonourable to give up the fight early.
- The ceremony is for family, but the religious leader of the community will attend and perform the necessary rites. They could refuse to attend, which would involve a scandal, for either the 'priest' or the family of the soon to be departed. If the person in question is important enough to the whole community then the ceremony is much more public, similar to a state funeral, but more like a living wake the honoured one gets to attend.
- The Layor follow a religion of ancestor worship which is coupled with an animistic faith. Their dead are left in cemeteries on stilted platforms for the carrion birds to consume. A bone will be recovered after a time, and used to craft some tool, weapon, or instrument, which will serve to house the deceased's spirit. These relics are believed to possess minor magic becoming power talismans the longer they are maintained. Sometimes many ancestors' bones are combined to create much more powerful talismans, with additional decorative embellishments added with each passing generation.