Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Con-weapons and warfare (was: joining concultures)

From:Kristian Jensen <kljensen@...>
Date:Wednesday, January 6, 1999, 15:43
Hawksinger wrote:
>snip, snip lots of interesting stuff about Boreanesia and early >European contact. >I have Spanish, Dutch, and French contact early on as well although >Magellan missed Nowapan. The Spanish were later intent on >colonization but by then, the Nowans had gotten guns from the >Japanese, and unlike the latter, they kept them. The Spanish >decided to trade goods instead of conquest.
Before the arrival of Europeans, Boreanesians were both merchants and warlike. Extensive trade allowed Boreanesians to import ideas for weapons that they used occasionally amongst themselves when Boreanesia was a collection of several mini-states. Boreanesian communities had small populations, low levels of production, and unlimited access to natural resources like sea and forest products. Their chief's ability to procure iron or prestigious imports depended on control of manpower to exploit those resources. Wars were therefore fought to control people, not territory. They were waged by raids intended to sieze slaves, to initiate or enforce alliances for trading networks, and to take booty to cover costs in any case. They were fought, not by standing armies or navies loyal to some superordinate political authority, but by citizen warriors owing personal allegiance to leaders who were physically present. Some Boreanesians were therefore willing to swear allegiance to the Spaniards when it was to their advantage to do so, and were not prepared to resist foreign occupation and annexation of their territory. Obviously, this provoked neighboring Boreanesian tribes who were unfortunate not to have a powerful trade ally. Boreanesia's first Emperor is credited for attempting to rid Boreanesia of such unfair advantages. By uniting Boreanesia as one country, he hoped that such disputes would never occur again. Just for fun, I'll list some traditional Boreanesian weapons below, together with a bunch of other Boreanesian words dealing with warfare: KETA': Single edged dagger. KETIH: The Boreanesian wavy kris sword; single edged like the Japanese katana but wavy like the Malay kris. (appx. 60cm in length) PEHLUH: A blowgun usually fitted with a spearhead for use when all ammunition had been spent. PENAH: Bow. LETANGH: Arquebus, musket, swivel gun, or cannon. THEYUNG': Ammunition. Eg., theyung'penah 'arrow', theyung'pehluh 'blowgun dart'. THEYA'PEWANGH: Literally 'body wall'. Body armor made of thick braided bark cords woven tightly together. Best ones are woven so tightly becoming water-proof. [Note there are three words for 'wall' in Boreanesia; theya' refers to a wall made of woven plant fiber, nhepulh refers to a palisade or any other wall where tree trunks are arranged side by side, and kenha' refers to an earthen or stone wall.] TEKU'PEWANGH: Literally 'body roof'. A round shield (roughly 50-60cm in diameter). It is made of wood strengthened and decorated with metal strips and coated with a resinous pitch. TENGULH: To cut off a piece of the body, or to behead. Also means a head, a hand, or a foot cut from the body. NEKEYAH: Battle victory. TENGULHNEKEYAH: Battle trophy. KELAY': Battle, fight. PETAW': A night attack on a sleeping target, or a hunt before dawn. PETUH: Raid. Usually refers to a raid done during the day, but can also refer to a petaw'. YEKAY': Ambush. LESEY': Defence/defend. Anybody else? Regards, -Kristian- 8-)