One of the most populous ethnic groups on the Drakari , the Matari are brown-furred people of light blond hair, dark red horns, and yellow eyes. Calling the central region of Mataga their home, they are most well known for their engineers, mathematicians, and architects. The Matari are also generally known as the pioneers of Drakari space travel and were the initial people to colonize the sister planet Takri. The Matari generally favor the Takri Separatists in the ongoing Drakari Civil War, believing that the Drakari Union's actions that sparked the conflict were excessively violent and deceptive. Many outsiders, however, feel that the Matari stance is more influenced by their own influence and control over Takri.
Major language groups and dialects
Main article: Kata
A language of clicks and guttural noises made from the throat, Kata is the native tongue of the Mataga region and the Matari people. This language is typically spoken quite quickly - A sharp contrast to the careful, methodical pacing of the common Drakari tongue of Si Kari. This makes it challenging to learn and follow for those new to the region. However, many Matari are happy to slow down and coach visitors in their own tongue.
Many signs and posts throughout Mataga are written in Si Kari and in the rough, simplistic markings of Kata. Dots, dashes, lines, and circles make up the Matari language. They can be found everywhere, even places where Si Kari was not used for writing.
Main article: Si Kari
The common tongue of the Drakari Union, Si Kari, is naturally the second most popular language through the Mataga region. Every Matari can speak and understand the common language at least to a moderate understanding. However, the Matari are known for speaking fast, skipping pauses between syllables and words, and generally speaking in a manner other Drakari have described as slurred and rushed. Many Matari also incorporate the guttural noises and clicks of Kata in place of certain sounds in Si Kari - Specifically hard consonants and low vowels. Even if their appearance doesn't make it obvious, it's easy to spot a native Kata speaker by the way they speak Si Kari.
Average technological level
Well known for their prowess in mathematics and engineering, the Matari are generally considered the most technically advanced of the various Drakari groups. Matari technology was responsible for not only space flight, but colonization of Takri, the weaponry and armor used by both Takri separatists and loyalist armies, and in more distant history, the Matari are commonly regarded as the origin of sea travel and trade. Most current-day Drakari technology can be traced back to the Mataga region in one form or another.
Common Dress code
Matari clothing is generally made to be robust and rugged, as opposed to fashionable or particularly appealing to look at. Many outfits use dull, muted colors that blend into the natural fur colors and environment of the Mataga region, as the air has been known to fade colored threads. Knee-length boots, full-length pants, and light-weight short or long sleeve shirts are typical.
While bright and vibrant colors are rare, they are used on some occasions - Mostly in more reserved events, which typically occur in more controlled internal environments. However, suppose bright, vibrant clothing is seen outside of formal occasions. In that case, that will usually draw attention - And not necessarily the good kind.
Art & Architecture
The Matari people are well known for mathematics and engineering and their architecture - Particularly in the fields of masonry and stoneworking. Nearly every building in Matagano and other Matari cities is built up with masterful brick and stonework and very carefully maintained by the city residents. As a result of the reliance on these building materials, Matari architecture is generally quite blocky, with carefully laid brick archways used to support door frames and windows. Some architects have experimented with other patterns as well. There have been buildings erected in the shapes of pyramids, cylinders, and in one case, a large multi-sided equilateral polygon. This last structure proved unstable. Most human visitors find the designs to feel quite ancient yet inviting and cozy at the same time. In addition, the Matari have found ways to insulate their homes from the weather outside.
Coming of Age Rites
Upon 'coming of age' (20 cycles), Matari men celebrate a two-day long celebration, including family and friends. For most Matari, this celebration is also when they pair up with a significant other - Typically a female friend they've known for several years prior. However, this isn't always the case. These celebrations are filled with games, food, music, and a generally playful and uplifting mood.
Funerary and Memorial customs
A curiosity for Human visitors, the Matari people do not celebrate births every cycle. Instead, they hold remembrances for the memories of friends and family members that have passed away. However, while one might expect these to be sad in nature, these memorials are actually just as joyful and playful as a typical human birthday. Gifting is not uncommon, typically in small items that one believes the people being remembered would have wanted others to have. These celebrations usually include a specific form of pastry filled with a savory and spicy plant that commonly grows in the hills of the inner Mataga region.
Visitors to the Mataga region should be closely aware of certain taboos and restrictions of Matari culture. Many of these stem from the beliefs of the Natural Civilization - That every Drakari is a part of nature as its family and should obey its rules and respect it. Violating any of these can have consequences ranging from dislike down to outright arrest and charges - Violators usually find themselves forbidden from ever entering Mataga again if the infraction is severe enough. The more heinous taboos, however, are as follows:
Sadism and brutality
While the Natural Civilization holds that violence is a natural part of life, many Matari feel that killing and violence for the sake of it is harmful to the soul and the environment and break's 'Nature's Pact'. This includes hunting for sport, violence as entertainment such as wrestling (Though depictions of historical battles as part of a story are generally not frowned upon), and the obvious cases of murder and assault.
Doubt and questioning
The word and law of the Natural Civilization are considered the word and law of all Drakari, whether they actively follow the religion or not. Expressing doubt about their beliefs, or questioning the Natural Civilization is a good way to anger any Matari.
Many Matari feel that you are as the Natural Civilization intended you to be. Presenting yourself in low light or hiding your accomplishments is considered an affront to what the civilization has provided you - Many Matari will be found happily boasting about their successes and good fortunes, with those around them happily congratulating them for it.
Truthfulness is a virtue - Lying to a Matari, even for something minor, is considered an insult. Matari also generally remember those who have deceived them, and will typically find it difficult to trust such a person again.
For many in Mataga and the Natural Civilization, it is believed that seeking beauty is an affront to nature. Much like with humility, you are as the civilization intended you to be, and attempting to change that is an affront to what has been provided to you.
The Matari generally believe that nature intended every pairing to be a man and a woman. To them, this is the only natural pairing that can produce offspring as the Natural Civilization intended.
The primary religion of the Matari people is the Natural Civilization - An order that believes all Drakari are a part of nature's family and must live in harmony with the civilization. This religious group has a strong influence over both the Matari people and the Mataga region, to the point of several laws and tenets being written at the behest of the civilization's leadership. Because of this influence, every Matari worships wildlife and nature, and are well known for being strict about following their religion's teachings. To a Matari, the Natural Civilization is your family, and your family is nature.
Main article: Takri Separatists
A relatively recent group, the Takri were originally formed from colonists on the planet Takri after the Drakari Union attempted, and failed, to invade the colony and re-seize control. What originally started as a rebellious militia quickly grew into a full separatist movement, driving a proverbial wall between Takri and Roka. A vast majority of separatist members are Matari, as the ethnicity that first populated the city of Takrino and the surrounding region, and the organization's leadership is made up entirely of Matari people. The Matari of Mataga also generally voice their support for the separatist movement and dislike of the deceptive and violent actions the Union carried out on Takri.