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The Wajajad Culture was a complex society which emerged in the southern highlands of Region A in the Early Bronze Age.

EncompassesEdit

  • Djuwn
  • Wajaja
  • Mue

Material CultureEdit

The Wajajad culture is known for its extremely efficient water management techniques- whilst rivers are not disdained, many Wajajad cities are supplied by wells or by extremely intricate channels drawing from rivers or fossil water. Wajajad material culture is also generally associated with caves and cliffs; although not all the Wajajad actually dwell within caves, they are considered good and proper locations to build homes and tombs. All the Wajajad cities have some kind of cave component, with the most extreme being Wajaja itself which is predominantly built into caves and the cliffside. These cities all also possess a circular enclosure with thick walls, called a wumar-wal (stone circle), which is used to keep animals. Wajajad houses are most often built out of limestones combined with wood, but older structures still used in this era are most often entirely made out of wood (most often palm). These houses are designed to avoid risks of collapse due to the frequent use of caves and cliffs, and a well maintained Wajajad house need never collapse of its own volition. Wajajad ceramics are extremely expressive, illustrating the enormous variety of wildlife in the surrounding area; in addition to wild lowland animals and domesticated species, Wajajad art frequently represents animals of the mountains and their forests such as the cloud armadillo, capuchin monkeys, ocelots, mountain pipit, and sunbirds. Copper mined from the mountains is combined with imported tin to make Bronze, though the forms of bronze artifacts produced closely ape those of the Puinetukt culture from whom the technology was absorbed. Gold imported through the mountains is the most common prestige metal, with amazonite mined near Mue being the most common gemstone. Obsidian, sunstone, and silver are all quite rare imports and are usually reserved for the very highest elements of society. Wajajad society utilises a form of writing strongly based on the Ginki tibquiote but in form somewhat more abstract than the original Ginki hieroglyphs. The origin of the intricate Wajajad calendar is the Neolithic site of Gara-Gara, which uses a seemingly simple arrangement of stones around a courtyard in order to operate a highly accurate solar calendar. The calendar is now painted with individual designs for each day of the calendar, and the site is still frequented in this era even though the builders of Gara-Gara are long since lost to history. Clothing is generally created from either palm fibers or llama wool, though cloud yak wool is sometimes used as well. Silk is a luxurious import from the other Southern cultures that themselves only have limited access to the material. Both clothes and houses are brightly coloured with an array of plant-based dyes, with dye-making quite a developed industry in the Wajajad culture.

SocietyEdit

Wajajad society is oriented towards the civic sphere, with each city and its hinterland considered a strong community and identity to be associated with. Each Wajajad city is currently ruled by a pair of kings, though this is not without its problems; dynastic squabbling between the co-kings is not infrequent, though usually kept behind closed doors if at all possible. Much of Wajajad daily life is arranged around the elaborate Wajajad calendar; in addition to the yearly cycle, which helps to regulate the agricultural seasons and other yearly activities, there is also a weekly cycle which has influence on many things from diets to religion. In a given week, the calendar usually suggests particular food groups on particular days. The calendar also mandates a day of rest for labourers and artisans, which is often the day in which feasts and festivals occur. These festivals are a major reason why the massive livestock enclosures were constructed; sometimes they holds cattle that will be ritually slaughtered and then shared by all of the citizens, sometimes they remain empty of cattle and are used as a gathering place. Festivals are headed by a special official appointed directly by the co-kings on each occasion; some cities have a set cadre of officials who rotate across the year, others literally appoint a different official for every single festival in turn. Wajajad social dynamics are oriented around communes, each containing a general spread of specialists. These communes are identified with various animals; for example, 'the Swallows' and 'the Armadillos'. The exception to this general rule are individuals who are 'enslaved' by the kings as their direct servants. This can apply to actual slaves with particular skills, but the label is also symbolically applied to otherwise free citizens. Warfare is generally conducted by standing levies on the various communes combined with semi-professionals who serve the kings directly. Religion is strongly focused around festivals and the general calendar, but in wider focus it tends to involve animalistic deities, who are comprehended more as incarnations of natural forces than any kind of distinctive personalities. Temples are sometimes constructed, but more often particular communal shrines are the focus of daily worship. Unusually for this sort of era, the majority of individuals in the Wajajad region live in cities rather than the countryside- this is due to the congregation around ordered, proper water supplies.

DietEdit

Maize and ivory sweet potato are the main staples of the Wajajad diet. A local variety of shiny-leaved condoo grows with a bright scarlet colouring rather than the usual green. Otherwise, much of the vegetative diet is nearly identical to the other Southern staples; sorghum, figs, with coffee being a prized and relatively rare stimulant. However, the particular fruits of the mountain forests and local savannas are also cultivated. The jelly palm is grown for its extremely tasty fruits, usually consumed once a week (the day before Festival Day). The fruit is one of the two main ingredients of the Wajajad maize beer, the other being of course maize. This beer is ubiquitously associated with festivals and is consumed in enormous quantities once each week. In addition to beef, guinea fowl, and cloud yak, many forest species are hunted for their meat. The relatively small numbers of Wajajad cities serves to cap the capacity for these species to be seriously threatened, along with the preference for domesticated cattle as a main meat supply.

NotesEdit

Wajajad trade with the main river valley usually occurs via llama caravan, but Mue is beginning to invest in a road network that may soon link it to the other Wajajad cities and to Kiicham.