Deep Kuuyik Ethnicity in Etharai | World Anvil

Deep Kuuyik

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Deep Kuuyik are an ethnicity of kuuyikar native to the submerged caverns. They are adapted for life in the deep, cold ocean, and their culture revolves around life in these depths.
Deep Kuuyik are a fairly welcoming people to those resillient enough to decide to make a home with them. Anyone hard-headed enough to make a home where the environment does not welcome them belongs as part of their community.
Related Locations
Submerged Caverns


Major language groups and dialects

Deep kuuyikar speak the language of Delpar, which is easily understandable when speaking underwater, but hard to pronounce on land. Most deep kuuyikar learn at least one surface language as well, but Delpar is the preferred language for speech in their homes, as it is more comfortable and suited for speech underwater. If a home is filled with air instead of water, however, deep kuuyikar will switch to speaking in a surface language; both because it is easier to speak in air, and because the owner of the house is not likely to understand Delpar.
Delpar itself uses a unique mix of phonemes, with a number of clicks as well as phonemes that require interaction with the water around oneself. This includes gurgling noises, expelling or inhaling water, and creating bubbles.

Foods & Cuisine

Deep kuuyikar enjoy spicy and/or bitter foods. Because they are able to digest and obtain nutrients from nearly anything, their taste palette typically includes things that most other species may become sick and die from eating.
Some of the more popular dishes among deep kuuyikar include stuffed algae, a dish with various fillings inside of a dough made from carnivorous algae. Another popular dish is spellvok candy, which is a hard candy made from spellvok, only edible by kuuyikar.
A beverage that many deep kuuyikar enjoy is ink juice, made from glow ink. They also enjoy eelsauce as a condiment they use with nearly anything, a sauce made from the blood of thyic eels.

Toxic Delicacies

Kuuyikar will typically refuse to serve any of their cultural dishes to non-kuuyikar, as even the ones that are edible to other species are far too spicy or bitter for them to stomach or enjoy. Some restaurants will offer alternatives, that use less spicy or less bitter incredients and ones that are non-toxic to other species. such restaurants are somewhat controversial.
Deep Kuuyik Cuisine by notahumanhand


Beauty Ideals

To deep kuuyikar, the most desireable features one can have are glowing eyes. Because of this, some kuuyik will choose to wear glow contacts to give their eyes this appearance, if they do not have this feature naturally.
In addition to this, deep kuuyikar enjoy painting their bodies with glow ink, as a form of self-expression and a manifestation of inner beauty. They do this by painting lines on their faces and visible parts of their skin, to form patterns that represent who they are as a person.
There are certain hairstyles that are pupular among deep kuuyikar. Most of their hairstyles include buns of some form; two buns on the top of their head, a single loose, low, bun, or many small buns across their entire head. These hairstyles serve a dual purpose: Other than fashion, they also serve to keep hair out of a kuuyik's face without requiring them to cut it short - somethine very useful to have when living underwater. Deep kuuyikar do enjoy wearing ribbons in their hair, often in bright colours that are visible to their eyes. They will also decorate their clothing with ribbons.
Another trait that deep kuuyik find desirable is a more prominent ribbing inside of ones ear. This represents how well a kuuyik is able to hear, which also correlates to their levels of empathy, and so people with stronger ribbing are seen as more attractive and desireable.
Deep Kuuyik Beauty by notahumanhand

Gender Ideals

While sex-wise the majority of kuuyikar fall under male or female, deep kuuyik culture is a bit separated from sex in regards to gender. There are three major genders in deep kuuyik society, akin to zal, kul, and kar. The third gender represents kuuyik who do not fit into the other two genders.
Deep kuuyikar's genders have become entirely separated from their sexes, despite their origins. To them, what determines your gender is the role that you play in society, rather than your biology. As such, a person's gender can change over their lifetime, if their behaviour changes substantially.
Other cultures do not consider the deep kuuyikar's genders to truly be genders. To many other species, gender is based at least somewhat in biology, and does not change over a lifetime. These people often do not move to the areas where deep kuuyikar live, however, so the deep kuuyikar are not concerned with the thoughts of such people.
To deep kuuyikar, a zal is someone who collects or creates food to support others. Zal are important to them, as the presence of kul would not be possible without zal alongside them. A kul is someone who creates things to help with society in some way, either inventing, building, or doing creative work like art or music. Kul are also important to the deep kuuyikar, as the kul allow for their society to be vibrant and ever-changing. Lastly, a kar is someone who does neither of these things, not contributing in any meaningful way to the community. Kar are shunned in deep kuuyik society, and if one has been labelled a kar, it is incredibly difficult for them to gain either of the other two labels without serious work.

Courtship Ideals

Deep kuuyikar consider courtship to be a very important process, that lasts for years before concluding in marriage. In deep kuuyikar cutlure, courtship almost always begins with a gift of flowers, usually those that can grow and be picked in their environment - though some kuuyikar will go above and beyond in attempting to obtain and maintian flowers from the surface. Courtship flowers differ from flowers representing frienship, other relationships, or other meaning in that they are generally green in hue. Deep kuuyikar prefer palepetal flowers for courtship.
Any kuuyik can begin courting another, but if it does not become mutual within the week, it is socially taboo to continue courting someone. While kuuyik do not outright reject people, the lack of returning affection if a rejection in and of itself, and if a person continues courting someone who has not returned their affections, that person is typically regarded as socially inept, one of the worst traits for a deep kuuyik to have.
After about a year of exchanging flowers and conversation, two kuuyikar can become a "couple". In this stage they are not considered married, but it is more socially acceptable for them to spend time together alone. This stage can last from a few months to up to three years, but any longer than that will receive questioning looks, and queries as to why the pair is not married.


Marriage among deep kuuyikar is the process of two people moving in together and away from their parents, usually with the intention of starting a family. There are usually marriage ceremonies held, which take place in the location where the couple is moving to.
For a marriage celebration, each guest invited to the cceremony contributes one flower that represents their relationship to the couple. For the couple's parents, they may receive a difficult-to-find or rare flower, representing a close relationship, while other guests attending who have spoken to the couple maybe a few times may offer a more ubiquitous flower.
Once all of the flowers are received, one person from the couple will hold the stems together, while the other ties a ribbon around them to form the bouqet. This bouqet is kept alive and healthy with either magic or technology, but represents the couple's relationship and is typically displayed in a prominent location in their home. If the flowers are not maintained and begin to wilt, this is seen as a sign of disaster soon to come within a marriage.
Some of the benefits accompanying marriage in deep kuuyik culture is the recognition of that couple as married - it is socially acceptable for them to sleep in the same room, much more physical touch is acceptable in public, and they can have children and start a family.


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