Samakarii Ethnicity in Legends of Elohey | World Anvil


Naming Traditions

Feminine names

Julienne, Tashi, Disha, Sohni, Dorje

Masculine names

Tsering, Wong, Yonten, Chodak, Kalsang

Unisex names

Nishat, Rinzen, Ilros, Kiran, Roshan, Shashi

Family names

In general, Samakarii do not normally have or use family names as do people of most other cultures on the continent. For instance, the Geldarian Grindhewer family would all have the last name "Grindhewer". The first name may change, such as Titas, Alexia, or Marstis, but their last name would be "Grindhewer".
In a Samakarii family, the first and last names of all members might be different. The family might consist of Tenzin Farwalker, Darson Wong, Chodak Tearsong. Their personal name is about their spirit. Their summary name comes from a crucially important chapter in the story of their life thus far.
In any case, a Samakarii is unlikely to use their summary name in any but the most formal situation. In mixed company they might, for the comfort of those from the World Beyond the Mountains, substitute landmark names or career titles: "Tenzin Ilphendurl" sounds like a World Beyond name, but to a Samakarii will mean "Tenzin, Ruby Grove" (literally, Tenzin, trees-of-ruby") and thus Tenzin's home address is probably the Ruby Grove village on Wangdue.

Other names

For Samakarii there are two main sources for personal names; they either come from their parents or from a holy person. However, it is not uncommon for parents to request names for their children from a great hero or holy person.
In requesting a name, the holy person or hero will write the name on a piece of blessed thread. When the thread is woven into the blanket for the newborn, it is considered christening the newborn with their name. If the parents choose the name themselves, they obtain a piece of blessed thread from the local temple and write the name themselves. Once done, they sew the name into the blanket as if the thread and name had come directly from the holy person. Either way, it is felt that the action of sewing the name into one of the first garments the newborn will use conveys a special protection and blessing upon the child that will follow them through their days.


Major language groups and dialects

Fa'lain has as many local dialects as there are mountains in Samakar, but the differences grow chiefly from local stories -- names of people or things, that became part of the area's vernacular, that spread to nearby settlements via trade and gossip until all the mountain knew the reference.

Common Etiquette rules

Speak kindly; or speak not.
Samakarii believe that to speak negatively of another's choices or traits is to give them power. The intention of the belief is that individuals should focus more of their attention on the good, the admirable, the useful, the insightful; thus, these factors will be encouraged, leaving less room on the mountain for that which is problematic to grow. In practice, however, a Samakarii who disapproves or objects to something will use short, vague, over-the-top terms and phrases to state a reaction to the problem and then swiftly change subjects. (Or: let the awkward silence grow.) Samakarii who genuinely like a situation or decision will say so with at least one detail included:
"What an excellent idea."
Speaker thinks that is a {terrible/foolish/simplistic/poorly thought out} suggestion.

"The matte color of the beetroot dye makes the yak thread embroidery stand out marvelously."
Speaker thinks that the color design on the garment is worthy of praise.
This in no way whatsoever suggests that Samakarii do not use invective! They do, enthusiastically -- but about inanimate objects, unfortunate situations, or nebulous abstracts. If someone announces their intention to consume at least one of every dish available at a festival, all in a single sitting, "What an excellent idea!" is appropriate for this self-destructive act of gluttony, and neither sympathy nor assistance will be offered in the inevitable body pain afterward. If someone announces that nothing can be baked because the oven imploded, "Hairless runt of a motherless goat!" is a barely-polite phrase of frustration over the uselessness of the kitchen, and will probably be followed by the offer of another's baking oven to make do or arrangements to help sort out the pieces and rebuild.
(DO NOT call out Lhundup for any of these reactions at all. It only encourages Him to focus efforts in the speaker's direction.)
The present is a different tale.
When referring to one who is not present, a polite person speaks from their personal knowledge: "He who was then Gulzar" is the phrase for someone who has not been a personal acquaintance since the most recent changing of seasons. "Thatmur’ss, Night Ranger" is a person known to currently have that name, that career, and has been in interactions of some sort where he could have made his identity clear if necessary since last season.
For this purpose, "a person who sends me communications in their own voice / written in their own hand" is considered a personal acquaintance, which means that the polite Samakarii uses present tense in their direct references to the sender's name as stated at the message conclusion.
Hail from the sky; cracks in the bedrock. Both can be true.
Only a fool considers a limited source of risk.
Only a lout considers a limited area of responsibility.
The polite Samakarii acknowledges more than one aspect of any subject. That may be as complex as saying, "I understand that you feel passionately about this topic, but my perspective is different," or it may be as simple as checking that no one is waiting to traverse a narrow bridge before jumping onto it. (In fact, many Samakarii carry earhorns or spyglasses to let them check the other end of a passage before trying to use it.) Polite Samakarii glance through a doorway before they enter to make sure they will not bump any person or animal or object on the other side.
On the other hand, it is considered polite behavior in Samakarii society to sometimes look away from fellow conversationalists, to acknowledge the surroundings even in the midst of intense study, to take short breaks in any endeavour so that one can observe the weather or check for hints of landslide. Some visitors from the World Beyond have been known to find this inattentive or rude ... but to a Samakarii, long periods of undivided attention mean that the focus of the attention is considered a hazard.

Common Dress code

Like the Mountains, Samakarii dress in layers: the innermost for personal comfort and the outermost for environment. Nudity is not shameful but is generally underprepared and therefore vulnerable, like the raw mountain stone exposed after a rockfall cleaves the weathered surfaces away.
Everyone old enough to dress themselves will wear snug-fitting soft pyjamas as their base layer. Some people select for particular colors, but the important feature is always that the base layer wicks away moisture without scratching or irritating the skin. The base layer always covers femur, torso, and humerus in two to four separate garments. For times when maximum coverage will be preferred, the lower base garment will start just below the bottom of the fibula and cover up to just below the ribcage; the upper base garment will start near the carpal bones, continue up to a thick collar that conceals the jugular vein, and sweeps down past the top of the bottom garment to end at the pelvis. The two garments may fasten together at several spots around the torso with cloth hook-and-loop enclosures, may use small buttons, or may be pinned with brooches.
Most Samakarii also have specific opinions about socks and gloves as part of that base layer decision. Some Samakarii add neck wraps and/or hairline wraps to protect as much exposed skin as they can.
Men often wear a second and maybe a third layer of pyjamas, usually in complementary or contrasting fabrics. Depending on their career, the weather, and the day's anticipated tasks, they may put on either an inner robe or a separate tunic and kilt designed to suit certain purposes before they don the outermost robe with its weatherproofing and its pockets. Last will be any tabards and/or harnesses, and always a belt of some sort to keep everything in place. The belt probably has a few pouches and at least one tool scabbard in place.
Women usually wear an inner gown, an outer gown, and an outermost robe. Each will have a different length and shape, and probably be made of different materials. During colder parts of the year, the outer gown is usually beyond knee length, bell-sleeved to be able to cover her fingertips, and probably wool, and possibly waterproof. In summer, the inner gown is definitely sleeveless and woven to serve as insect deterrent; the outer gown may also be sleeveless, and if not it has been woven to help resist sunburn. The outermost layer is the day's robe with its weatherproofing and its pockets, its loops to keep tabards or harnesses in place, and of course the belt that keeps everything in place.
Nonbinary Samakarii wear a second layer of pyjamas, an outer gown, and as many robes as seems advisable.
Everyone wears boots throughout the year. Summer boots are designed for tromping through thick mud or several inches of water; they are easy to clean but probably not padded very much. Winter boots are designed for sure tread on ice and for retention of body heat, and have room for thick socks in addition to their padded soles. The same Samakarii will be noticeably taller in their winter boots than they are in their summer boots.
Outer robes are defined by one's career more than any other factor. Some robes are full-sleeved, calf-length garments that may be armored or enchanted. Other robes might be confused by visitors with "long vests" or with tunics, depending on the role in question.
Rain gear and warm cloaks are culturally considered "equipment", not "garments". So is armor.


Beauty Ideals

Samakarii beauty is found in clean lines, whether sharp and angled or gracefully curved. But further: an object with excellent lines but no function in the world is considered trashy or wasteful: art can be functional (mosaics built into the construction of a wall, for example, or a historic statue that divides a channel of water into many smaller pipes for irrigation) or it can be educational (a beautifully crafted belt of charms that illustrate the story of How Sleigh Bells Were Invented) but it can never be a thing whose only purpose is to be beautiful.
OOC: Useful sources for Samakarii names:
  • the Drow Name Generator on Kismet's Dungeons and Dragons page is derived from an article in Dragon Magazine
  • Elistraee's Drow Translator on the Chosen of Eilistraee website lists a huge number of words invented for Ilythiiri, the drow language used for the Drizzt books. A lot of these words were created by Julienne_Noquar back in the late nineties and early oughties, especially if there are entries for multiple tenses of a verb, so we might as well make use of them when it makes life easier.
  • From Behind the Name, try Nepali and Tibetan and Bengali as inspiration for Samakarii character names.
Encompassed species
Languages spoken

Cover image: by CB Ash