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The Nraran Chalcolithic Culture was a complex society which emerged in the far north of Region A in the local Chalcolithic era.

EncompassesEdit

  • Nrara
  • Jangana

Material CultureEdit

The Nrarans are possibly the most diverse craftsmen in the entirety of the south. When building they are comfortable utilising wood, limestones, gabbro, marble, and mudbrick. Each city is dominated by compounds of various materials and the highest possibly craftsmanship, with every compound representing a clan of the city. The number of these compounds and their opulence makes the interior of each city scattered liberally with incredibly ornate buildings. The cities are both surrounded by enormous, ten metre thick walls. Nraran craftsmanship doesn't just extend to architecture either; the Nrarans make beautiful artifacts of all kinds from the silver, nephrite, flint and obsidian which are all found nearby. But they also work a number of imported materials with great dexterity, such as coral, pearls, tiger's eye, quartz, copper, and gold. They also personally produce a kind of workable stone made from a bitumen compound fired in a kiln- this is known as black stone, wara yap. Calabash, a kind of bottle-gourd, is used to produce gourds (surprise) as well as musical instruments. They produce enormous quantities of ornate jewellery and other adornments with these materials. This is primarily achieved with copper and sometimes flint tools, as bronze is so rare as to be a prestige metal and not something to make tools with. Barges and canoes are used to transport goods down the river, but also to trade with the Aatap further south. The Nrarans are also the first society in the world to deliberately mummify their dead. To achieve this, first they make incisions and remove the internal organs, including the brain. Then they fill the body with vegetable fibres or animal hair to restore the natural shape, and sticks to support the bone structure. The incisions are then sewn up, and clay is moulded into the face. Depending on preference, the clay can be painted but it is often not. These mummies are then placed with reverence in mausoleums outside the cities.

SocietyEdit

The Nraran cities are not truly civic entities; original arising as meeting grounds for the clans, they grew into cities organically and the organisation of these cities still reflects their origins. Each clan will co-operate for the purposes of wall maintenance/construction and creating mausoleums. However, the rest of the city is mostly a competition between each clan acting on their own behalf. Foreign policy is decided by a council of clans, and in times of war a special war leader called the ngumpal-karil is appointed. Each of the clans in the city represents a wider clan present in the countryside, and accordingly each city actually represents quite an enormous range of territory. However, a number of Nraran clans are not represented in these cities, and the foundation of Jangana was due to the dissatisfaction of some of these clans. This has often led to conflict between the cities and these clans, with non-urban clans being the second most frequent opponent other than kjuna, yak-using mountain people who try to raid Nraran lands. However, relations are not endemically hostile; the urban clans are not set in stone, and expansion has happened in the past (usually leading to a physical expansion of the city to accomodate). Also, number of the non-urban clans are still permitted to use the mausoleums to bury their dead, and death functions as the great equaliser of Nraran society. This is because mummification is available to all, regardless of clan affilication, age, gender, status, or health. The great bridges of Nraran society are the classless 'priests', though this is a somewhat poor translation; in practice, whilst the priests are held to be sacred they are actually primarily labourers and engineers. They maintain the city's infrastructure, and expand it if need be. They also maintain all the city's temples, including the many only open to particular clans- no temple is barred to their presence. The Nrarans are themselves a bridge, despite their quarreling nature- they unite the deserts surrounding them, the mountain peoples of the north, the rainforests of the west, and the southern grasslands together in a single trading network. This is because in addition to using the river, the Nrarans also send out llama caravans. This is yet another facet of inter-clan competition. However, molestation of caravans is a deeply reprehensible offence, especially given the real danger of non-Nraran tribes deciding to attack the caravans.

DietEdit

The ivory sweet potato, which does not like the soils in the south of the river, is more at ease with the Nraran soils. This is the staple food of the Nrarans along with maize- the sweet potato is usually made into flatbreads, or mashed and made into cakes flavoured with allspice, or grilled and drizzled with honey. Maize is ground to make bread, or turned into popcorn; this is done in cooking pots with a little sesame oil. The giant onion, native to the nearby mountains, is a common element of cuisine, alongside figs, a domesticated form of pursh that has more seeds, the shiny-leaved condoo (the fruits often being a mixture of red and dark purple), and coffee. Here, coffee is used like a spice- as an additional flavouring to be added to stews and soups. Beef and yak are the most common meat, either spit roasted or stewed. A common addition to the diet is also the species of sturgeon endemic to the Nraran segment of the river; both the roe and the flesh of the fish itself are commonly eaten.

NotesEdit

The outermost Nraran clans have a somewhat porous relationship with many non-Nraran ethnic groups, mixing somewhat freely and generating slightly strange fusion cultures in the process.