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Dolvareg

Strong, Proud, and Free

The Dolvareg are nomads, who live within the Danatelian Lands and beyond. They were there before Danatelians arrived, and have fought to stick to their ways long after the Danatelians settled. They are for the most part merchants and performers, travelling from one city to another in a long procession of caravans.

Dolvareg rarely ever enter the larger cities of Danatelia. Instead, they prefer to settle outside of smaller towns and villages, where they feel safer amongst themselves. They are quite secular, preferring each other's company of that of other people, the result of decades of tense relationships between themselves and the Danatelians.

History

The Dolvareg are natives to the South of the continent of Anthepandia. As far as their stories go, they have always been nomads, travelling across the open lands without the limits of frontiers or states. They have a long history of trading with the various inhabitants of the regions, from the Dwarven Cities of the Thunder Chains to the various tribes of the northern Wild Plains.

At the arrival of the Danatelians in -831 I.A, the Dolvareg were initially reluctant to meet and interact with them. The Danatelians soon started to invade the continent, laying claim to many native settlements. The Dolvareg fled the lands for about a century, and only returned when the landscape had settled.

First Interactions

The few first meetings between the Dolvareg and Danatelians quickly turned to messy disasters. Neither spoke the language of the other, and Danatelians were quick to fear what they did not know. A series of unfortunate incidents led to a quick distrust of the other, and for a while the Dolvareg avoided larger Danatelian settlements.

As time passed, they started to develop more amicable relationships with smaller Danatelian communities, forming strong bonds with some villages, and soon enough they started to trade with one another. These practices and friendships still continue to this day, and every Dolvareg knows in which village they are welcome.

We have lived here long before the Danatelians arrived, and we know these lands better than they ever will. We know the language of the wind, we know all the nooks and secrets of its forests and rivers. You have much to learn from us, if only you would listen.
— testimony of Aleksander Buniatish, collected by Abelard Sattar.

Modern Day

Dolvareg are now a well known group the Danatelians. Some villages and cities still harbour feelings of mistrust for them, and Dolvareg usually avoid these places. However, they have formed close bonds with some villages and towns, which some caravans visit yearly. They usually get by by trading goods and putting on shows in the places they stop by, also passing along the news from one place to another as they move across the lands.

Haines Caliare

One of the core parts of Dolvareg culture is their relationship with clothes and fabrics, exemplified by the Haines Caliare. Colours and patterns hold very personal meanings, and a lot can be said from what is on a Dolvareg's Haines Caliare, if one knows how to read them. They are made by Tchesator, and one must study for many years before they are allowed to make clothes themselves.

Appearance and Care

Haines Caliare is usually bright and colourful, made of died yarn weaved by Tchesators. They are covered in patterns, both abstract and figurative. Because they take a long while to make, Dolvareg usually receive them when they reach adulthood, and rarely own more than two.

The Haines Caliare are worn above other clothes, usually made of simple fabrics or leather the Dolvareg have acquired through trade. They are communally washed two to three times a week, following a precise ritual where the robes are perfumed with incense and fresh scents.

Caravans tend to develop their own unique patterns, to distinguish themselves from other Dolvareg caravans. This creates a very rich and complex tradition across the population.

Receiving a Haines Caliare

The robes are given to a Dolvareg during what is called the Daruire, a rite of passage amongst the caravan. Before the ceremony, the young selects a base colour for their robe, and must then converse with the Tchesator so that they may get a sense of who the young is. Then, the Tchesator starts working on the Haines Caliare. Once it is ready, they caravan proceeds with the Daruire, and gives the Haines Caliare to the now adult Dolvareg.

Throught their life, Dolvareg will often visit the caravan Tchesator so that they may add patterns and threads to the Haines Caliare, making it more detailed and complex as a person grows throughout their life. When a Dolvareg dies, they are burned with their Haines Caliare.

Sometimes, a Dolvareg with a full Haines Caliare might have to get a new robe: this calls for another ceremony, called the Mijocul.

Colours

Red is typically used to signify boldness, courage, and passion. Combined with Black, it can mean violence, strength, or signify heroic deeds.

Blue usually shows free spirit and aloofness. Combined with Purple and Orange, it serves to show artistic and artisanal abilities.

Dark Green highlights a connection to both life and disease. This might be a reference to a doctor, or someone apt with potions.

Patterns

Abstract patterns tend to relate very personal information about the wearer. They must be read in context, and can mean a wide variety of things.

Annimal patterns usually hold symbolic value associated to the perception of the animal.

Lightning is a recurring pattern. It can denote impulsivity, strength, or even fast thinking depending on what colour is put with it.

Core Information

Language: Dolvargi, whatever language is useful in their travels.

Religion: Dumvali

Species: Mainly made up of Lemna, but are used to mixing with locals they get are often in contact with.

Travelling

Dolvareg usually travel in caravans of about 40 to 60, the largest group across the Danatelian Lands counting about 90 people. Each caravan has a Dechator, who leads the group and decides where they head. The Dechator is in charge of keeping the caravan safe, and is elected by the adults of the group.

The Danatelians Dolvareg have a king, called the Suddern King. This title is passed hereditarily, but Dechators can vote to have the title removed from an individual if they prove themselves unworthy. The King has the power to call meetings, gathering all Dolvareg into one place. This is a rare occasion, and usually signals dire events.

Dumvali

The Dolvareg believe that the world was created by an entity they refer to as Ma'Pamânt. According to them, she is the Mother of the world, who made everything around them.

Her touch can be found in all things, and she is constantly talking to them. Everything living thing is an incarnation of her will, and when one dies, Dolvareg believe they become one with her once more.

dabir-bernard-A_RXuJWAvmk-unsplash.jpg
by Dabir

Stereotypes

By the larger Danatelian society, the Dolvareg are often perceived as an easy going, sometimes even lazy people. Some towns will go as far as labelling them thieves and con people, while others instead see them as precious allies and creative people. Overall, there is a lot of misinformation about who they are, as Dolvareg remain relatively secular.

Taboos

Ownership of a Haines Caliare by someone who has not been accepted by the Dolvareg as part of their group is forbidden. As such, counterfeit robes are looked down upon, and people who make them -be they Dolvareg or not- are shunned from the caravan.

If a Dolvareg spots a fake Haines Caliare, they will often attempt to steal it or destroy it. Most villages they are close with understand their practices, but others treat the robes are mystical disguises.

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Cover image: by Mohammad Ali Berenji

Comments

Author's Notes

Hmm. So that article really got out of hand, and I only answer the prompt at like the very end of the article... oh well, its done ^^


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27 Dec, 2020 23:10

This sounds a lot like a tribe I used to visit a lot while I lived in Thailand. I love the color symbolism, of course, but the detail in their clothing and culture, as well as how it is viewed its significance, is what really stood out to me. I love it, like usual.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
28 Dec, 2020 10:20

What was the name of the tribe, out of curiosity? I'd be interested in looking into them! And thank you so much for your kind words, I'm glad you enjoyed the stuff about the clothing <3 :D

Author of Interarcanum.
28 Dec, 2020 10:54

It was a while ago but I'm pretty sure It was the Palong or Palaung. The way you described the clothes just sounded very familiar.

You should check out the The 5 Shudake, if you want of course.
28 Dec, 2020 11:03

Thank you for the name :D

Author of Interarcanum.
28 Dec, 2020 17:58

The Haines Caliare sound amazing - I love that they are added to throughout someone's life, and that fake ones are taboo. This sounds like such an interesting culture! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
28 Dec, 2020 18:51

Thank you! I'm thinking of maybe changing that part of their cultural traditions, instead making a single ornate robe they choose at the age of majority, though I'm not too sure yet. Thank you for the kind words Emy <3

Author of Interarcanum.