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Fidean

Culture

Culture and cultural heritage

Originally from what is now referred to as the state of Shaehir, Fidean culture struggled from constant conflict from both Yajemir and Manutori. Manutori, especially, was struggling to take the area from the native population to expand its empire.   However, once Alia expelled their Manutori occupation, the Fidean culture took a stand to seal its borders as well. While Yajemir put up quite the fight to continue its occupation, it was eventually also expelled.   That began what is now The Fidean Empire. Driven by their god Are to spread his teaching to every corner of Lathai. They began by taking the entire island chain of what is now Shaehir, then expanded into Alia, Rend, and Takende. The empire is currently expanding into both Cyrelphos and Yajemir. There is something of a cultural grudge against Yajemir.

Shared customary codes and values

Most Fideans are Mautist and have a strong connection to those values. These include a relatively direct connection with their god. They have a firm belief that they and other Mautists are superior to those of other religions.   Fideans see everyone they interact with in one of six classes. This informs many aspects of their social interactions. For example, it is seen as rude to initiate conversation or contact with someone above your class. If the person of higher status initiated conversation with someone of a lower class, it is not considered rude for them to reply.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

In Fidean history, it was exceedingly common for temples to be protected by souls of the dead in the form of a volunteer being buried alive beneath the temple's main entrance, drowned, or burned to death within the temple. While this is rare now, the idea of ritual death has remained with the culture. This tradition has evolved and changed over the centuries, more commonly involving those of rivaling nations such as Yajemir.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

As soon as the mother begins to have contractions, she is sequestered in her home with her mother, sister, or sister-in-law, depending on who is available, and a number of midwives. Wealthier families can have as many as seven midwives attending the laboring mother.   When the baby is finally born, they are washed by a midwife and returned to their mother to nurse, or wet-nurse in the case of most wealthy families. It is customary for royal infants to be taken from their mother and both the mother and baby are cleansed by their midwives before reunion, days later.

Funerary and Memorial customs

The body of the deceased is taken to a temple where specially trained attendants handle the preparation of the body. Despite residing in a temple, these attendants are near the bottom of the social class ladder. These attendants carefully clean and prepare the body in a specially cordoned off section of the temple.   Once the body has been prepared, it is sealed into a stone vault or wooden coffin and either placed in a family mausoleum or buried. Despite the importance placed on the remains, the family has very little to do with them. Once the body is passed along to the attendants, they do not see it. This can make closure difficult for the loved ones of the deceased. In some areas, "poor men's vaults" are built as a charity to those who cannot afford above-ground mausoleums. These generally take the form of something like a thick wall. The coffin is slid into an opening and sealed. Each user is generally given six years before the remains are removed from the coffin or vault, brushed back and down a chute to a common hole, and another coffin is placed inside. Family mausoleums and those spaces occupied by the rich or powerful and not reused. In fact, the current royal family mausoleum still hold the remains of the family for the past eight generations.


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Cover image: Big Sur Coast by PhamDigi

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