Songado Tribes (son-ˈGAH-doh)
The Songado were a dozen tribes of Elves living in the Nalruthian Jungle. Each tribe consisted of no more than thirty members at a time. They believed the jungle had been given to them as a homeland by Lealra, Goddess of Nature. In exchange, they were to act as caretakers and stewards for the land, and honor it. Each tribe had a chief and at least one shaman. Both could be male, female, or non-binary. Chiefs were voted on by the tribe at large, while shamans were selected young to be apprentices to the previous generations' shamans.
Major language groups and dialects
The Songado Elves spoke a dialect of Elvish, known as Songadian.
Average technological level
The Songado were quite skilled in manipulating the resources of the jungle, however they had to trade for anything that was not provided by their home. Polished woodcrafts and sculptures, as well as textiles in brightly-dyed traditional patterns, were greatly prized both within the tribes and by the outside world as well. They had even developed a strangely elastic substance derived from the sap of the Mazatl Tree, which they found several uses for. Their rituals and rites, as well as their environmental stewardship, showed a highly sophisticated way both of thinking and planning long-term.
Art & Architecture
The Songado Elves built their homes in concert with their surroundings in the jungle. They primarily used wood in construction, as well as found objects. They incorporated an abundance of plant life into their buildings, and often had "living" roofs of growing vegetation. The Songado also had a tendancy to build vertically, rather than horizontally, mimicking the tall trees around them and minimizing their village footprints.
Common Customs, traditions and rituals
Songado Elves had both a family name and a tribal name, to help keep track of lineages. Children were often named after ancestors. The various Songadoan tribes would meet at certain festival times, not just to celebrate, but also to make matches among the young people of the tribes. Most marriages were arranged, and the spouse from the larger tribe would go to live with the spouse from the smaller tribe, taking on that tribal name. The Songado, like most Elves, celebrated the solstices and equinoxes, considering them to be days outside of time. Multiple tribes would gather together to celebrate these days with feasting and prayer.
Each tribe of Songadoan Elves had at least one shaman and several apprentices. Together, these shamans of the different tribes formed a council to deal with major issues threatening all. The shamans would use Metzla to dream and find answers to their problems. Likewise, the chiefs of the tribes would gather informally, especially to discuss border disputes or sudden hardships like famine or fire. They would confer among themselves until they reached a consensus on the matter at hand.
Tribal TaboosIt was taboo among the Songado for anyone other than an apprentice shaman (or in extreme cases, the shaman themselves) to collect pollen from the sacred Illithor Orchid. Songadoan hunters were forbidden to kill for sport, or take more than was needed. No one, not even a chief, was allowed to knock on the door of the shaman's dwelling, for fear of disturbing a dream-trance It was forbbiden to marry someone from the same tribal group.
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