Tihasa Tradition / Ritual in Kalan | World Anvil


"The girl cut from the same cloth as Tise Pje created a festival of lights, dance and questionable morals. 5 days of short dresses and colourful traditions. Not that I'm complaining much, it is the rare time I get to dance with my beloved without it being strange."
— Anolf Oshtafan
  A Nero person could celebrate a plethora of festivals. Fasting and sombre reflection are often a part of these occasions. The Tihasa Festival, in contrast, is known for its lively and joyful atmosphere, where liberty triumphs over tradition. For many reasons, this festival is more commonly celebrated in Pani Puri than Hizi Pas.  



The Myth of Kasa Ej

Kasa, the youngest daughter of King Hafa, was cursed. Her father had done a deal with Savo many years before to prolong his life. The price? In return, Hafa promised the hand of his youngest daughter. In Nero culture, the Afterlife is a grey and melancholic place, where spirits are constantly haunted by their regrets. Kasa would be surrounded by nothing but this in the Dead’s Domain. Being the free-spirited and joyful girl she was, Kasa refused to accept that as her future. So, she a plan to escape this marriage.   With the help of two court musicians - an old lutist, Maru, and a spritely tambourinist, Rore - she planned her performance. First, she donned entertainer’s frock, and then danced. The dance style can be traditional and elegant or modern and raw depending on the teller. Nonetheless, she dances from dusk until dawn.   She’d initially danced to scare him away. But there was extra cunning to her plan: to take her to his subterranean abode, Savo would have to physically grab her. However, if the rules were to apply, no matter how long she danced, he’d eventually marry her. But if he said that he’d let her go under a condition, well, she’d found her loophole. Beckoning him close, she challenged him: catch her and he can have her. But if he can’t before the music ends, she’s free. Being fond of gambling, Savo agreed. The next song played. Because of her speedy and powerful footwork, Savo could not catch Kasa. So, she was free, just as their bet had been.  

Independence War

Compared to other festivals in Hizi Pas, Tihasa isn’t that important. Pani Puri - and Shari in particular - has been a hub for Tihasa celebrations throughout history, and the Punomo Clan is renowned for their continued patronage.   The festival took on a more poignant meaning after the Independence war. Taxes were already tough, but raising them after a plague made people rebellious. And Tihasa’s underlying currents of freedom made easy kindling. In the words of the Pase Drana Punomo, ‘Kasa herself danced to freedom, and we shall march to freedom’.   Tihasa, since Pani Puri’s independence, has evolved into a quasi-patriotic celebration, with many people choosing to wear their country’s national colours to honour their victory over Hizi Pas. Immigrants & Their Effect   Much of the ways Tihasa is celebrated these days comes from immigrants. Whether they came to escape conflict, persecution, or for economic reasons. While a small portion of the population, Sarchan immigrants have shaped a lot of the modern style of dance. Foreign influences have come in through foods and so on.  


There are three styles of dance commonly performed during the festival over its 5 days: Isi mi, Isi hufu and Kama Isi.  

Isi Mi

Isi Mi is a traditionally more fluid style, like what Kasa herself might’ve performed in the mythology. I Professional Asas (or dancers) perform Isi Mi during an event called a Hinyi – an exhibition dance where a ‘Hefi’ picked from the crowd. While still framed as a fight, the Asa’s moves are more elegant than her street-style contemporaries. If the ‘Hefi’ wins, the Asa will pay sima – a small amount of money often accompanied by the kiss on the cheek, but that’s uncommon these days.  

Isi Hufu

While Isi Mi is still fast and powerful, it pales compared to Isi Hufu. Isi Mi is a dance style for special occasions and upper classes, while the other dance style is more common. It involves angry arm movements and swirling of skirts. Isi Mi is still extremely fast and a tiring exercise. Isi Hufu dancers perform at a faster tempo. For many, it is a point of pride to perform an Isi Mi piece at a potentially double the tempo. However, because of its speed, many novice dancers sacrifice grace and clean angles.   Because of its street nature, there are many styles which vary depending on region to region. While Isi Mi is performed nearly always solo or within a male-female pair, people can perform Isi Hufu in large groups. Outside of Tihasa, many entertainers make their money in troupes of Isi Hufu dancers. Too, in this style, it is more common for same-sex couples to perform due arising during the Pani Puri Independence War while the soldiers were away.  

Kama Isi

Kama Isi falls outside the usual divide people draw for dance during Tihasa. Perhaps because it doesn’t relate to the festival. Yet it very much does. Young couples frequently perform Kama Isi during Tihasa, but it is not limited to this occasion like Isi Mi. The origins of this style are different, which is why bodily contact is not shied away from, unlike the other two styles. After all, the other two styles evolved from Kasa getting her freedom by not getting caught.  

Ale Sis

  People often preform Kama Isi dances at an Ale Si in large groups of dancing couples fighting for space on the floor. Ale Sis are often associated with Tihasa though they occur during other festivals, but many of the most vibrant are during the 5 days of Tihasa. Tihasa also corresponds with the beginning of the wedding season, so they are often large last hurrahs before the so-called “chains of marriage”.   Ale Sis involve copious amounts of alcohol, a good meal and a cheesy amount of young love. They’re also matchmaking events with many an old married couples telling of how they met their spouse via an Ale Si.  


Tihasa is a big deal for Pani Puri, so fashion matters to the emerging merchant classes and everyone else.   Tihasa wear is scandalous because it has fewer layers and higher hemlines, meant only to show footwork but now carries more rude connotations. Clothes for this occasion are made ultra-comfortable and danceable.   They’re also often in purple and yellow – the colours of the Punomo Clan and the country. Why? That answer depends on the person. Some say it’s simple patriotism. But others digress: Kasa in artist portrayals oftens adorned in saffron silk and gold to contrast with Savo’s muddy purples. But no matter what, there’s still a somewhat patriotic aspect.   Wave and circle patterns also are very common. They’re common iconography but because of the myth involving tambourines, especially in areas where the myth told omits Rore for Kasa playing the tambourine herself so there’s that too. Some pay for fancy professionally made fabric, others work hard to dye, paint and embroider because they can’t afford it.  

Anolf Oshtafan’s Diary

Scribed by Anolf’s beloved friend Rura Ero   I’d always wanted to experience Tihasa as my good friend has never stopped recounting to me stories of his childhood experience. There was a reason to why we set off in haste from Luze after all! Thank the winds that we arrived when we did.   After a possibly too hearty breakfast, we went out. While I would’ve loved to dress in more festival-appropriate wear, my pale skin and the sun do not mix and the Nero, on this occasion, love showing skin. My health made me, and Rura stand off-side where there was shade where possible for my sake. We set off to a Hinyi first, trying to fight for space in the shade. The gods, I admire her stamina. I think we watched about 6 rounds before my friend got bored. Luckily, we didn’t get picked out – we stood at the back, so it wasn’t like she saw us!   After a very small lunch, my friend insisted I eat, we returned to the sile jre at Rera for a little while as to save my skin from burning too much. While we’ve bought ointments for burns, the midday sun is high today even for usual standards so it was better.   As I record this, we’ve just return from a beautiful Ale Si hosted by his Kri, Rora. He insisted on calling her Hene which I thought was rather rude. I can tolerate the alcohol here, even danced (before one round of throwing up) with a very lovely girl called Okha. I later found out she was my friend’s Ko who his aunt has been certain for him to marry.   There’s 4 more days to go. Pani Puri feels a lot merrier than back home as much as I long to see my mother again.
  Above is a traditional piece for Tihasa – Sulo No Hore, or ‘The Cat fighting the Bull’. Oftentimes in less literal interpretations or children’s stories, Savo is represented as a bull and Kasa as a cat. While an understandable phrase in Oxaleso, a more grammatically correct form would be Ti sulo-za nofo hore-za
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Aug 2, 2023 17:24

Love the origin of this festival! What a cunning person Kasa is to make a successful deal with Savo. ^^ Also, love the artwork!   Keep up the good work! :D

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Aug 19, 2023 07:09 by Kwyn Marie

Delightful idea, and the music is very cute. It goes well with the artwork.