Hatae (Death Ritual)
"I, the sky, will take this and wear it close to my heart."
started from the tale of an ancient hero whose grieving wife was only returned his pinky finger- the rest of him had been destroyed. it's part of a great epic. one of the legends, up there with the salindre/arael/koese and the founding of Cae.
When someone dies the bone of their right pinky finger is cut out of their hand and cut into charms. It is important to try to take their finger when they are dying on the battlefield- the belief is that you keep the spirit of this person around you in death afterwards. If you don't keep the bone, then they will not be able to watch over you and protect you. The bone is meant to be soaked in water with the leaves of a shrub from the plains/steppe (which everyone carries around with them) which preserves and bleaches it. it's then carved into a couple beads.
Components and tools
just a knife, a bowl, and the leaves of that shrub.
the closest physical person during the moment of death takes the bones and then entrusts it to someone nearby to prepare it. The beads are then given to the leaders, who distribute them to the families, lovers, and friends. the people the beads are given to are the sky, the earth, and the river. the sky is the person who set their heart free (love), the earth is the people who ground them (family), and the people that propel them further in life/accelerate them (river). there is a little symbol carved in each of them to signify the element they represent. the dead person tries to dictate who they are given to but sometimes is not able to- many soldiers put the names in their jackets or tell them to trusted friends.