- 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
- Waejiran society is caste based, from the high Nobility, down through the nobles, commoners and finally slaves.
- Waejiran culture was formed from the separate culture of the Seven Cities conquered and united by the first emperor.
- Waejiran's speak Waejirwu, which has a common dialect Waejirnimawu - low Waejir tongue, and Waejirailiogwu - high Waejir tongue, an elite dialect used by the High Nobles
- Idoms used by Waejirans typically involve the gods, or references to aspects of local geography and social order.
- High Nobles
- The Imperials of Waejir are seen as demi-gods, and believed to be divinely protecting and guiding the empire to glory.
- Noble land holders with title originally ruled in the Seven Cities, before the High Nobles took over ruling the empire. Presently a noble is acknowledged as such by the visit of a high noble shortly after their birth. This acknowledgement by the royalty cements their right to rule over the commoners within their lands. Many Nobles serve on the senate and effectively form a republic style government with little oversight from the high nobles. nobles can have their rank removed by declaration of the high nobles. Nobles also benefit from a social net taking the form of a guaranteed income should they not have sufficient lands and wealth.
- The everyday folk of Waejir range from rich merchants, through guildsmen, craftsmen, fishermen, and farmers to the urban poor. In rural areas many farmers are little more than peasants working the lands of some noble family in exchange for a small garden plot, a cottage, and a share of the produce they help grow.
- In Waejir slavery is an open and common practice, originating in the days of the seven cities when thralls were captured in war and forced into servitude. One can become a slave by choice, effectively selling themselves and gifting the profit from such sale to a person of their choosing. Every town large enough to support a regular market has a slaver's block where slaves are auctioned.
- Being a slave in Waejir isn't as bad as it may seem on the outset. Many slaves are specialists and highly skilled or educated in their fields. While a slave lacks the rights of every common citizen there are still a few rights afforded to all Waejirans.
- Slaves must be allowed to attend temple services appropriate to their chosen patron deities.
- Slaves may marry (another slave) and have children, however the children are born slaves and are the property of the slave mother's owner.
- Slaves may own property, with the permission of their owner, although this is often a contentious issue.
- Slaves can be granted their freedom through a legal process by their owner, and a significant number of the lower ranks in the Waejiran military are slaves; whom can earn their freedom through service.
- In Waejir there are beast-folk whom are highly intelligent bipeds. The Vocanei, while they are sapient, are bred and controlled like prize animals, and generally exclusive to the wealthy elite.
- Vocanei are treated as less than slaves, but oft time better than simple beasts of burden and labour, in part due to their intelligence. Their breeding and training is tightly restricted by the Breeders Guild, and owning one is a sign of status, usually reserved for the nobility, or those favoured by a patron noble.
- Often the family stay in the same home. multiple generations living in one house, mutually supporting the entire lot. Moving out usually only happens when either there is too many people, or work requires moving to another part of the city, or an even greater distance.
Structure / Size
- Waejiran family trees are fairly typical two parents, their children, with spouses of the children and grand children below them.
Roles of Family Members
- Clan head
- Every family has a clan head. The titular head of a family will hold generally hold the most status, and have a good position amongst their social class. For serious matters this person's opinion carries a lot of weight, regarding impact on the family's reputation or standing.
- One's parents have absolute rights over their own progeny for the first ten years of their life. Matters of discipline and punishment are a private matter within the family.
- Until one is ten years of age they are to respect their parents and behave well, so as to preserve the family's image within the community. After ten years of age, children are expected to begin earning a living in the family trade, or possibly be apprenticed out to cousin, uncle, aunt, or more distant relative. It is not until they reach fifteen years of age that they are consider adults and have a say in their career choice or family decisions.
- Family is an important part of a Waejiran's life. One's siblings and cousins will form their first peer groups. Extended family will form a social network of mutual support, that works together to better the whole. Becoming unpopular or outcast from one's family is a difficult thing, seen as shameful and indicative of bad character regardless of the circumstances.
- A large family with many connections will have more avenues open for work opportunities, or even political support. this is one reason families tend to keep connected even across great distances. should one fall on hard times, the family will be there for them. should one have great success, they are expected to share that with their family. One's family reflects on their honour, and one's honour reflects upon the family as a whole.
- Fostered children are still the children of their living parents, but are living with a relative for reasons of politics, education, or simple internal familial bonds.
- Adopted children are legally the children of the adopting parents. They may be orphans, children given up by living parents, or even relatives who for would be at an advantage to have different parents for political or other reasons.
- Orphans are generally taken in by more distant family members when possible. Failing that, several of the temples will take in orphans to raise and train in the particular temple's faith. Some others will remain on the streets as homeless children, exploited or ignored as the dregs of society often are. Criminal gangs will sometimes take in a few orphans who show talent in pick-pocketing, or burglary, even just using the kids as lookouts.
- Waejiran's worship a pantheon of many gods and goddesses; each responsible for some set of worldly concerns.
- Individuals or family will usually have a preferred patron deity who they feel best looks out for their interests. They are free to pray to any deities of the pantheon, of course, if their needs are better addressed by a different divine aspect.
- Waejiran's believe the world was created and subsequently populated by Silat the All Mother. The other gods and goddesses are her descendants, whom as the world became more complex each took roles accordingly to maintain and influence aspects of the universe..
- A complete list of religious figures is detailed in the Waejiran Pantheon.
List of Religious Observances
- Each god or goddess has a holy day associated with them, upon which a high mass is performed at temples dedicated to said deity.
- Temples to individual Deities will exist in areas of high population or regional bias towards one or more of the gods and goddesses.
- Every town or larger population centre will also have a temple to the gods with a shrine to each god whom lacks a separate temple in the same town or city.
- The details of each temple's internal hierarchy of clergy is detailed separately for each deity.
- Throughout one's life, and daily existence there are moments of import for which a customary pattern of activity ensues. These ceremonies are important to Waejirans as they mark the moment in time, and usually have some social or religious context which effects the status of the individual.
- Waejirans utilize mid-wives, often devotees of Silat, to assist with the birthing process.
- Newborn children in Waejir are taken to the temple of Silat shortly after their birth, before they are named. The priests/priestesses will examine the child for defects or congenital deformities. Healthy babes go home with their parents, while the misshapen or deformed are given to the temple of Silat in Waejir, for polite and proper disposal in the eyes of the gods, or are raised by the temple as Templeborn orphans.
- Newborn children who pass the inspection at the temple of Silat are brought home and presented to the family in a celebration of a new family member and a healthy birth. At this time the parents will give the child a name.
- Names can reflect circumstances of birth, desired qualities for the child, descriptive attributes, or simple birth order. Some names run in families, being named after a still living or deceased relative can reflect an honour upon that relative.
- If a child is born to noble parents, a high noble will almost always visit within a ten-day to acknowledge the birth and affirm the child's station.
- In rare occasions when one does not visit, it means the child cannot hold noble title and receives no privilege of such status. This does not remove noble status from the parents, just the new child.
- In extremely rare occasions a high noble may visit a child of lesser status parents, and elevate said child to noble status. Such an promotion, while an honour to the parents, does not change their social rank and privilege however.
- There are a few significant birthday anniversaries in Waejiran culture:
- On a child's fifth birthday they are usually given a set of tools appropriate to their parent's profession. They are not at an age appropriate for full training as an apprentice, but are considered a child and no longer a baby. This is the age of education beginning for those who's parents can afford tutors or academies. The nobility will gift their children with their own companion Vocanei at this age.
- Upon reaching ten years of age, a child in Waejir is expected to begin training in earnest. Be that as an apprentice in a trade, or earning a living as a labourer. Nobility will foster their children out to cousins or political allies at this age; also formal education and tutoring takes on a more serious and directed approach.
- Puberty usually occurs between the 10th and 15th year. It isn't a cause for any public change in social status, and there isn't much of a stigma towards late bloomers, other than possibly delaying marriage and childbirth for young women.
- Upon reaching fifteen years a Waejiran is considered an adult, and begins to take on responsibilities appropriate to their new status. Formal educations may continues for another 5 or more years depending on the trade one is pursuing. It is also considered the age at which citizens of Waejir may be considered marriageable. Nobles may have pre-arranged the betrothal of their children prior to this age, but a formal marriage may not occur or be considered right in the eyes of the law and the gods before both spouses are at least fifteen years of age. Adults are expected to have families of their own, pay taxes, and be upstanding contributors to Waejiran society as a whole.
- Waejirans whom choose to marry generally follow a socially accepted pattern of announcing intention.
- Men present their would be fiance with a wreath or bouquet of flowers, usually Aesat's Bloom and Baithur's Bloom. Customarily the target of such intent will agree to be courted for a period of a month, before formally announcing their decision to accept or reject the offer of marriage. For arranged marriages, which are a common occurrence, this is the period in which the respective families negotiate dowries and other offers of exchange to smooth the process.
- Should the offer be accepted after the courtship month, a marriage will be planned by both families with sufficient time for relatives, friends, and important community members to be invited and travel to the location of the wedding. At this time the bride to be, and groom to be are taken to the temple of Aesat and Baithur to be educated on the purpose of marriage and spousal duties expected of them. From this point until their wedding day they are not allowed to visit or see each other.
- The actual ceremony of marriage is usually a short prayer for acceptance in the eyes of the divine, followed by sharing of vows of fidelity, after which the pair are formally joined in marriage by the clergy.
- Following the ceremony a feast ensues where the families and other guests celebrate the marriage, bring gifts, and give wishes of success, prosperity and good health upon the couple.
- In Waejir divorces can happen if their is sufficient cause to believe either spouse is not fulfilling their responsibilities towards the union.
- The family should try to counsel and work with the couple to repair the marriage before a formal divorce, if possible. Should such efforts fail then a formal severance of the union is simply a ceremony of severance performed at the temple of Aesat and Baithur.
- The ex-spouses split all wealth equally and the children if any go with the mother if under five years of age. Six-to-ten year old children will go with the parent of the same gender, and those older than ten may choose.
- When Waejirans die it is believed that their soul will return to be recycled into new life. Their ceremonies involving death reflect these beliefs.
- Corpses are burnt on ceremonial pyre at the temple of Neithur. This releases their soul to be reclaimed by Silat who will find it a new body to be reborn in.
- In event of mass death the bodies may be burnt in less formal conditions and not brought to temple in order to ensure timely release of the soul.
- Family and relatives may perform a small rite in abstention for people for whom their corpse was never found or otherwise unrecoverable.
- There is also a ceremonial event where priests of Neithur collect any lost souls to assist their transition, this occurs during the Festival of the Moons.
- Some Waejirans will write up formal last wills to direct a different distribution of their assets amongst their family or other parties.
- When a Waejiran dies without such a document, their wealth and property goes to their living spouse if any.
- By social convention if the spouse is not alive, then the wealth and property is usually divided into two lots. The eldest child receiving one lot, and the second lot divided equally amongst the remaining children.
- Without a spouse to take over, the eldest living sibling of the deceased will become the family clanhead. If no such relative exists, then the eldest child will become the family head.
- Waejirans with at least moderate wealth eat regularly and well. The poor are less well fed, or eat a significantly reduced variety of foods out of necessity. Malnourishment follows extreme poverty. Slaves are generally fed well enough to maintain the strength and health required for their duties and little more.
- Waejirans eat a wide variety of foodstuff. Given the size of the empire regional differences will be reflected in which fruits and vegetables, or animal products are available.
- Domestic and wilds animals will be used for food. These can include: Poultry and their eggs, Rabbuc, Teica, Cebuc, Fresh and Saltwater Fish, Shellfish, Lizards, Tra, and other regionally specific species.
- Most fruit eaten in Waejir is produced in orchards, except in the south where jungle-grown fruit is collected from the wild. These include a wide selection of Citrus, Apples, Peaches, Plums, Cherries, Dates, Various berries, Melons, and some more exotic varieties from specific regions.
- Vegetables in Waejir are farmed in large fields, with the exception of terraces in the Western Foothills. Most vegetables are common root, leaf and gourd types. Unusual regional crops may be grown in particular sub-climates.
- The most common cereal crop in Waejir is mud grains grown along flood plains of the Utaltar used as a base for many dishes, followed by day grains used primarily for bread flour, and pot grains for porridge and stews.
- Nuts are gathered from forested regions, and few orchards specialize in such crops.
- Spice / Flavours
- Waejir has a wide variety of spices, and herbs available providing for a vast palette of flavours. Spices are one of the major exports from Waejir.
- Cultural Dishes
- The signature dish of Waejir is a thick sweet/spicy sauce with some meat, with vegetables, or fruit served over a bed of steamed mud grain. The sweetness or spiciness of the dish and blends of ingredients form regional preferences.
- A street-food treat common in most markets is savoury mud-grain balls with a variety of sweet, salty, or spicy dipping sauces. Small bits of meat, fish, poultry, or even fruit and veggies are packed into a 2-5 cm ball of sticky rice, which is lightly fried to a golden crispy outer layer.
- Generally paired with meals in a complimentary manner. Even a evening glass of wine will have fruit, bread, and cheese on hand.
- The most popular drink in Waejir is Sai. Tea, often steeped with fruit, or flowers. Drinking a cup of sai, in the morning, at mid-day, and the evening is a thrice daily ritual for many. Sai is another regular export from Waejir.
- Other drinks depend on the regional availability, but chilled milks or fruit juices are typically drank before clean water.
- Waejirans drink a variety of wines, brandies, and liqueurs. Some beers are brewed, being popular amongst the working class, or served to slaves as a kind of liquid bread. Hard grain alcohol is not common in Waejir.
- Waejirans express their status through clothing and accessories. Fashion trends can vary by region by generally common throughout the empire.
- Typical fibres used in Waejir comes from a variety of animal or plant sources. Rare or delicate materials tend to be affordable only by the rich, and more durable utilitarian fabrics favour the working class.
- Wool comes usually from wooly teica ranched throughout Waejir, or long haired rabbuc ranched in the western foothills. The later produces a softer yarn.
- Flax, Hemp, or Sisal
- Flax, and other similar fibre bearing plants are grown and harvested to make linens. While not as warm as woolen garments, their lighter weight makes them preferable in warmer weather and desert regions. Flax is also a primary fibre for canvas making for tents and sails.
- Silkberry bushes provide a silk-like fibre, that produces a light weight cloth. often used for light hot weather clothing.
- Waejir has the monopoly on silk, as it is only produced from silk trees which grow in a specific micro-biome of Waejir's southern region, specifically around Oheidur. Silk is reserved for the richest of patrons, and is a valuable export.
- Rabbuc and Teica provide a fairly light supple leather. For more durable hides, Rabbox, or other thick skinned animals are used.
- Some practical items are made from tightly woven or wrapped straw. These are typically hats or other accessory items used by the poorer classes.
- Most dyes are sourced from plants, although a few animal or mineral sources exist. The rarest dye is Karlech Purple, which comes from a rare mineral only found in Corinthea, and must be imported. Most other colours are available to provide a rainbow of choices.
- Waejiran garments can be decorated in a multitude of ways depending on regional preferences, and available materials.
- Additional designs may be stitched into a garment to add decoration and colours. For the rich these may include threads of gold, silver, or copper.
- Similar to embroidery, simple ribbons may be woven through or stitched onto a garment to add decorative edging, tassels or other flairs.
- Beads may be stitched onto clothing to add textural details and patterns. These can be glass, clay, wood, shells, metal, or bone, sometimes discs, chains, or sequins are used as well.
- Weaving complex patterns in to the original cloth adds to their expense, so such fabrics are reserved for the wealthy.
- Most Waejirans have a few changes of clothing usually a practical garment befitting their everyday activities and at least one fancier outfit for ceremonial use.
Daily by Class
- The wealth and station of individuals will be reflected in the type, style, and variety of their clothing.
- Most slaves wear simple garments of strict utilitarian purpose, often undyed and without embellishments. Simple sandals, leggings in cold weather, under clothes, a loose shirt, and if required due to weather a tunic. Hats are simple straw or wool to protect from the weather.
- The common people, simple farmers, and other unguilded workers generally wear simple garments as appropriate for their activities. Sandals, shoes or boots, leggings over underclothes, a shirt and a tunic. hats may be simple protection from the elements. For women a dress may replace the leggings and shirt if their work allows for it.
- The daily outfit of guildspeople depends largely on their position within the guild and specific trade they engage in. Workers will dress like commoners, with aprons, and other protective gear as required. Their supervisors, may dress in fancier outfits befitting their station, but the general outfit remains the same.
- The base uniform for military is simple commoner garb over which armour befitting their rank may be worn. Cloaks, and additional embellishments will be added as required or based on rank.
- Nobility have the most widely varied outfits of any social class, often having many garments to choose amongst suited to activities of the day. Nobles will wear more jewellery and accessories than their lessors not just for celebrations or social events.
- High Nobles
- The high nobles dress as they wish, often setting trends amongst the nobility who attempt to mimic a style or outfit. They are so rarely out in public that they seem to be unique outfits every time.
- Ceremonial dress is usually the cleanest and finest garment owned by an individual. Thiose officiating a ceremony may have specific outfits reserved for just such occasions.
- The bride and groom at a wedding will be dressed in garments as fine as the families can afford, and wear veils covering their faces lifted only at the time of their vows. Garlands of flowers will also be draped over their necks and shoulders.
- A family in mourning will wear ash grey cloaks, and thin veils. No particular care for appearing fashionable is taken on such days.
- During festivals, or similar celebrations brightly coloured costumes with elaborate embellishments like feathered fans, streaming ribbons, masks or other accessories are common.
- Jewellery is worn by both men and women. Usually only the wealthy can afford such baubles, but simple materials can be used and worn by the lower classes.
- Generally anything can be turned into a ring, bangle, or other jewellery; typically wood, bone, coral, shells, precious metals, semi-precious stones, crystals, or glass.
- Noble women will wear their hair in elaborate up-dos secured with two or more long sticks. These will be lacquered wood, bamboo, or metal, and often decorated with shells, beads, chains or small bells.
- Generally only used by women to make them appear more youthful, or to cover blemishes. Actors will use makeup to assist in appearing as the character they are portraying.
- Not generally used for fashion in Waejir. Membership in a guild or being a slave involves being tattooed with a mark on the nape of the neck designating one's affiliation to a Specific Guild or Noble House.
- Given the use of tatoos to denote slave status, laws dictating socially acceptable hair length for various strata of society exist to easily spot a persons guildmark or slavemark. Only the nobility may wear their hair past their shoulders, but often wear it up to avoid confusion.
- In the late afternoon and evening Waejirans will engage in social activities with family and friends.
- Competitive sports are generally physical contests of ability between two or more participants. Running, Swimming, climbing, and wrestling are common. Some team based games involving balls and sticks or bats may be played as regional favourites.
- For children games are a way of teaching patterns, counting, memory, and colours. For adults they take more strategic forms. Emdrejenei is a popular game amongst nobles and military officers.
- Gambling is common throughout all classes of Waejiran society. Betting on the outcome of animal fights, races or other contests is common, as well as many games of chance, some with more strategy involved, some purely luck based.
- Entertaining guests in one's home provides an opportunity to discuss current events, gossip, and make political connections, or business deals. Often these include meals, musical performances, or plays.
- Noble Gala
- Waejiran nobles in each city or town will gather in the late autumn to have a ball for their community. All children who turned ten since the previous gathering will be in attendance to mark their pending entry into adult society. Often these events are used to arrange suitors for marriageable daughters. The event is full of pageantry, and everyone dresses their best.
- In Waejir there are designated walls for graffiti that serve as public notice boards. There is a layered double meaning of symbols and words which is readable by those trained in the secret language, this open sharing of veiled information is a curiosity utilized by the nobility to share information with others who they can't contact through more mundane or direct means for fear of causing a scandal.
- The arts are funded in Waejir through a system of patronage. Anyone can be an artist if they can find someone willing to pay for their works.
- Storytelling is a means of entertaining the illiterate, but is enjoyed by all. Some street performers may tell stories for coin.
- Most written works are political dissertations, or the recording of stories and events in a permanent fashion.
- Poetry writing and recitals are often a pastime of the nobility. Long odes, or more simple works expression emotion and beauty are common.
- Fictional literary works are not common, largely due to the literacy rate, and expense of paper, books and copying. Still some embellished stories from far of lands can find an audience if one is a skilled writer.
- Waejir has a formal and informal theatres.
- Actors can be of the theatre, or simple street performers providing light entertainment for coins.
- Street productions are usually more bawdy, and provide a means of sharing current events, political discourse, or recounting history to the masses.
- In established theatres, the plays more often take on epic tales, or myths involving the gods.
- Dancing is generally an celebratory activity performed by anyone who feels like doing so, however performances for strictly entertainment are also common, either street performers dancing for coin, or plays adapted to music and dance performed in theatres.
- Tumbling, acrobatics, and climbing provide entertainment spectacles during festivals and some street performances.
- Musicians can perform for the masses soliciting coins from an audience, or be hired to entertain at social events. Most nobles will learn to play at least one instrument.
- Singing like dance is a group or solo activity of celebration. Skilled vocalists can turn it into a profession either busking for coins, or being hired to entertain guests at social events.
- Drums and other percussion instruments are usually accompanying other musicians in group performances, or providing rythm for dancers and gymnasts. Wood, hide, and metal drums are all found in Waejir with regional differences.
- Lyres, harps, and other stringed instruments like lutes, and guitars are common. These are usually in the hands of professional musicians due to the cost and skill required in their manufacture.
- Flutes and horns are common. From simple wood and reed instruments to larger pipes, and brass horns, or bugles used by the military fan fares.
- Painting on canvas or frescoes on walls is generally reserved for the rich to decorate their homes.
- Similar to painting these are a common way to decorate one's home, but more affordable to the lower classes. Stones, stained glass or glazed clay tiles are typical materials.
Scuplting of clay figures and busts, the carving of statues in stone, the casting bronze figures, and decorative carving from wood are all common.
Waejir is an old empire, having existed for more than a millenia. Records of the empires history have been kept since before the seven cities were joined under a single monarch.
- The Waejiran Empire counts in Waejiran Reckoning, from the date of the empire's founding 1257 years ago.
- Waejirans have many notable anniversaries of specific historical events which warrant remembering through the year, as such the calendars are used to keep trak of such things so they can be celebrated in their proper sequence.
- Most Waejirans will wake in the morning and enjoy a cup of sai with a light meal to begin their day. Work or schooling takes most the day for the lower classes, and children. A mid day meal will break up the day into two parts.
- After work is done for the day in early evening a supper is enjoyed with family and any socializing can be done in earnest before retiring to sleep. Nobility and the wealthy have more leisure time, and often begin their social period in early afternoon.
- 1-5 WR - The first emperor, Dractius Waejiros united the seven cities that were in the region under a single banner, and established the High Nobles as royalty above the Nobles which ruled in the cities
- 1252 WR - current year
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