Culture and cultural heritage
Northerner culture is a healthy mix of both Treist and Kanist cultures combined with necessities borne from the harsh climates of northern Dereko and Nephemir, as well as the entirety of The Northern Reach.
Common Etiquette rules
A hood should always be removed when greeting someone outside. Even in the cold, it is important to remove one's hood and offer a greeting. After that, the hood can be replaced. Likewise, outside shoes are left in the entryway, to the right of the door and inside shoes and slippers are placed to the left. Bare feet are rarely tolerated within the home but are preferred to outside boots being worn around the house. If a guest arrives with no inside shoes, the host will usually provide them. The head of the household sits closest to the fire and his wife at the opposite end. Guests will sit to the host's left and family members to the host's right. They, likewise, will sit with the head or eldest closest to the fire, and the youngest or least farthest from the fire.
Common Dress code
Out of necessity, clothes for Northerners are generally quite warm and have several layers. Layers against the skin are usually lined with fur (most commonly rabbit or fox fur). Exterior layers are either hide, leather, or thick woven cloth to shield against the harsh winds that can blow across The Northern Reach. Most woven articles of clothing are made of wool or other textiles derived from fur as opposed to cotton because of its ability to keep the wearer warm even when exposed to moisture. In terms of design choices, vertical stripes are a recurring motif in clothing design. This, like other design choices, is related to the protective wards cast by Kanist mages. The stripes are designed to protect the gut, the spine, and the head, though they do not serve practical function on their own. Brighter colors are usually reserved for those higher on the social ladder. During travel, clothes are usually have less coloration to remain hidden from the predators that inhabit The Northern Reach. Heavy outfits are common in The Northern Reach, the more northern areas of Nephemir, or winter months. Typically these types of outfits have boots that are knee-high, a tunic made of thick, fur-lined hide, and the cape and hood is made of a thick leather and wraps around the neck. The mittens are split not only at the thumb, but the index finger as well for dexterity. A medium weight outfit would be more typical of warmer months, more southern areas, and be worn within the wearer's village. These can tend to be more saturated in color, especially in high-ranking memebers of a settlement. The cloth, while still warm, would not hold up in the extreme temperatures of The Northern Reach for long periods of time, so would not be worn where shelter isn't readily available. A light weight outfit is used most commonly those in areas where Kanoism is not the dominant religion, including Dereko. Vertical stripes may be replaced by similar design choices, such as wheat. This would be winter attire. It isn't uncommon for Northerners who practice Treoism to add nature-inspired design themes such as these. As dyes are more readily available in these areas, saturated coloring is more common.
Common Customs, traditions and rituals
Birth & Baptismal Rites
Shortly before birth, expectant mothers will often move to a separate dwelling or the home of a midwife. Between the time when the new mother arrives in the specified space until the baby is born, only women are permitted to assist her. Usually, the mother of the father will care for any children within the home for the new mother during this time. Once the child arrives, the new baby and mother will remain in the home with the midwife for one night before returning home. The midwife and new mother will explain to the father what the birth was like and the three will decide on a name together.
Coming of Age Rites
The twelfth birthday is usually seen as a big birthday for both boys and girls in Northern culture. A large party is thrown including extended family and friends. A feast is put on and usually the parents will begin considering suitors after this age.
Funerary and Memorial customs
Gender roles in northern culture are stronger than most. Women are expected to remain in the home and ensuring things within the home run smoothly. Men are expected to be the breadwinners. The strength of a Northerner's family is usually quite entrenched within the family. While, obviously, friends outside the home are to be expected, usually a family will spend most of its time together. Friends are not usually told about familial issues.
- Related Organizations
- Related Myths
The Role of a MealSharing meals is quite important to Northerners. Sharing food with close friends and families is important to maintaining relationships, and being late to meals is seen as rude. Meals are served family style, and it is important to not have eyes bigger than one's stomach. It is expected that plates be cleaned completely, and wasting food is usually seen as a slap in the face of the host and his family. Alcohol is a major part of meals, and adult men are almost required to have at least one glass of an alcoholic beverage with a meal. Toasts are shared before the meal begins, but after a prayer to the family's god.
A Man and his HoundCerealis Hounds are highly regarded by Northern culture. Most families have at least one to protect the house and aid in hunting and safe travel. The higher quality a family's hound , the more honor they have. Friendly competitions between men and their hound are commonplace. Hounds are treated as a respected member of the family, and are the only animal allowed within a family's dwelling. A hound is not only a pet, but an invaluable tool for survival. On the day of his son's wedding, a father will usually bestow upon the new couple a young Cerealis Hound. While there is some debate about whether or not Cerealis Hounds originated in The Northern Reach or The Southern Reach, essentially all Northerners believe them to be from The Northern Reach. Thankfully, Northerners don't often come into contact with those of the opposing view, as debates can quickly escalate to blows. Cerealis Hounds are a source of great pride to Northerners and are a recurring motif in art and architecture, often appearing in sculpture or carving near doorways and windows as a sign of protection.
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