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Re: OT: Corpses, etc. (was: Re: Gender in conlangs (was: Re: Umlauts (was Re: Elves and Ill Bethisad)))

From:Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>
Date:Sunday, November 9, 2003, 1:36
At 11:17 AM 11/8/03 -0800, you wrote:
>--- Isidora Zamora <isidora@...> wrote: > > > >Well, I mean there's no laws protecting Daine > > >in > > >general. According to human law, they're > > >soulless animals. > > > > Which would account for the horrible treatment > > that they are subjected to. > >Yep. And unlike (I suppose!) the Cwendaso and >Trehelish, a Daine could never pass for a Man.
Yes, a Cwendaso can pass for a man, because he is a man. He just can't pass for a Trehel. Even someone who is half-Cwendaso will look entirely Cwendaso to Trehelish eyes, although Cwendaso may or may not be able to tell by the facial features. The Cwendaso are darker-skinned, and the skin generally gets a shade lighter every generation that it is mixed, but the peculiar grayish color of it doesn't go away within several generations. Their medium-brown skin with a distinct gray cast to it has gotten the Cwendaso nicknamed "Dusklings" by the Trehelish, but that term is considered a racial slur and oughtn't be used unless you are trying to be offensive. If you mix Trehelish and Nidirino, you may get a tall blue-eyed blonde (Nidirino) or you may not. The Trehels were originally all brown-haired and brown-eyed with reasonably light skin, but there has been enough intermarriage with the Nidirino over half a millennium or more that Trehels now have a variety of hair colors ranging from honey or dishwater-blonde to black. Brown is still overwhelmingly common. Brown eyes are also the rule, but there are a minority with blue or gray eyes. Nidirino are blonde or red-headed with blue, gray, or green eyes, with fair skin. Blue-eyed blondes are typical. There is a noticable difference in height between Nidirino and Trehelish. (Nidirino, in fact, means "tall people" in Trehelish.) The average Nidirino woman is as tall as the average Trehlish man. There is a slight height difference between Trehelish and Cwendaso: the Cwendaso tend to be somewhat shorter, but the difference is not nearly so noticable as the difference in height between Trehelish and Nidirino.
> > Because the Cwendaso refuse to cremate their > > dead, some Trehels are tempted > > to wonder if they don't have souls, because > > anyone with a soul would > > obviously want to free the soul after death by > > cremating the body. One of > > my important characters, Shohon (or Jostei) is: > > Cwendaso to all physical > > appearances; one half Cwendaso, one quarter > > Trehelish, and one quarter > > Nidirino by blood; and mostly Cwendaso but > > partially Trehelish by > > culture. At one point, some men were talking > > and rather embarrassingly > > forgot that he was listening. Rather > > embarrassingly, because one of them > > wondered aloud whether Cwendaso had souls. > > Shohon responded, "I'm > > one-quarter Trehelish, so, what does that mean > > - I have one-quarter of a > > soul?" They weren't willing to say that he had > > only part of a soul, so > > that sort of settled the issue of whether > > Cwendaso had souls or not. > >:) Settled in which direction?
In favor of the opinion that Cwendaso had souls, of course. They liked him and respected him well enough not to want to offend him. (And they were careful to check and see who might happen to be standing behind them if they talked about the Cwendaso after that :) ) I suppose one could debate whether the question should have been whether Shohon had one-quarter of a soul or one-half of one, because Trehelish have never wondered whether the Nidirino have souls or not. The normal Nidirino custom is to bury or entomb the dead, but if the Trehelish, after the Conquest, forced them to cremate their dead, the Nidirino had no real objections, but the Cwendaso simply will not desecrate a body in that fashion. The Nidirino have also never been accused, as the Cwendaso have, of being atheists by the Trehelish. The Nidirino build temples and offer sacrifices, while the Cwendaso do not. (But a quick glance through the first portion of Tovlm will convince you that Cwendaso are polytheists. Of course, Tovlm is an oral work, and has not yet been translated in Trehelish, and Trehels don't speak Cwendaso, so how would they know...or why would they even care about getting the facts straight.) In any case, the way that many Trehelish see things, the Nidirino have their own religion, but they worship some of the same deities as the Trehelish. From the Nidirino point of view, the Trehelish are idolaters, not to mention Death-worshippers. The Trehelish build temples to the sun and moon, as do the Nidirino. The difference, and the Nidirino understand this more clearly than the Trehelish do, is that the Trehelish worship the goddess who made the sun and the god who made the moon and have statues of them in their temples, while the Nidirino worship the *visible* Sun and Moon. They have symbols (which are fairly abstract) of the Sun and Moon in the temples, and on other items, but they worship the visible heavenly bodies. (And I am writing this in the middle of a very nice lunar eclipse, a spectacle which the Nidirino, unfortunately, cannot sit back and enjoy the sight of, since the occasion calls for emergency prayers.)
> > And over two-thirds of the population would > > have a good deal of difficulty > > with the release form, since they are > > illiterate :) > >Hah! Can they just make an X?
I'm sure that they have their equivalent :)
> > Actually, there is a high degree of literacy in > > the military because they > > are also a police force, and that requires, you > > guessed it, paperwork. The > > literacy rate in the military may be 100%, or > > it may be that they will > > accept illiterate men as soldiers, but only > > those who can read and write > > can be made officers, even low-ranking ones. > >I'm sure officers both in the Guard and Army need >to be literate, but I doubt the common soldiery >need be any more than functional.
Is that meant to be interpreted as "functionally literate" or merely "functional"?
>There are no printed books in the World. If you >have a book, some monk or slave spent a while >copying it out for you.
The Trehelish will copy by hand, too, if they need only a few copies. This accounts for printers also being calligraphers. The great usefulness of printing is that you can make a whole lot of books at once. The other great usefulness of it, in their eyes, is that you can print a book with a lot of illustrations, such as _The_Herbal_, which is the standard medical reference book, very large, very heavy, very expensive, very indispensible. All of the illustrations in _The_Herbal_ are colored, and that coloring has to be done by hand. Because illustrations are seen as one of the very useful things about printed books, Trehelish printers are trained to draw well and to turn turn those drawings into printing plates. (I think that they are capable of doing engraved metal plates rather than just woodcuts.) So I take it that there is slavery, based on your comment above? None of my developed concultures, nor any culture that they have yet come into contact with, have the slightest concept that one human being could be owned by another. Further south, things may be different, but that part of my world is so undeveloped as to basically not exist. I do know that Telekest, Trehelan, etc. will, at some time still in the future face a powerful, expansionist enemy who does practice slavery. I suspect that this is going to come out of the west, or, more likely, the southwest, and this does not bode well for the survival of the People (Emitovláugad, related to the Tovláugad), who are still living in the Stone age on the western side of the mountains which form Trehelan's western border, unless the enemy comes up from the south directly against Telekest and ignores the western side of that mountain range. I do not actually know what the outcome of the conflict will be for Trehelan and Telekest, though I do know what the result will be if they fail to form an alliance early enough. I'd really rather that something like that not happen to them. (Relations between Trehelan and Telekest range from quite congenial to open warfare (usually over exactly where the border should be, sometimes over trade.) How warm or cold the relations are depend mainly on the current monarch of Telekest, and can change quickly when the monarch changes.)
> > >Feathered, yes. Attached at the back on the > > >scapulas. Mostly they're used to communicate, > > >like how we gesticulate. Of course, they just > > >have two extra bits to point and wave with! > > > > How fun! > >Reuires a little more space than just arms and >hands, though!
How big are the wings?
> > We have a > > very good book called _Drawing_With_Children_ > > by Mona Brookes, but I > > haven't used it yet. I should. I'd learn to > > draw, too. > >I've heard of that one. It's good from what I >understand.
It is a very good book. I just haven't made the time to start using it yet. It's just as useful for people older than children, too. Isidora


Costentin Cornomorus <elemtilas@...>
Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>Corpses,etc. (was: Re: Gender in conlangs (was: Re: Umlauts (was Re:Elves and Ill Bethisad)))
Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Isidora Zamora <isidora@...>