Drifters Ethnicity in Linebound | World Anvil


River travelers of Zinato.

"Though the river flows down,
our spirits soar high.
And while the burdens drown,
our freedom we solidify.
  To those who scorn us,
we tell you only thus:
Travel may be dangerous,
but monotony is murderous."  
— Snippet of a Drifter song


Major language groups and dialects

Drifters speak a unique dialect of the common tongue in Zinato. Their use of certain words is different, the accent is unique, and words found nowhere else are found within their speech.

Culture and cultural heritage

The culture of drifters can be adopted by anyone who joins them along the rivers and can be abandoned at any time. Some may join the drifters for a season or a year while others may be born a drifter and die as one.

Shared customary codes and values

Friendliness and hospitality are key drifter customs. Theft is an egregious break of the shared code and can end with a shoring, being left behind on the riverside.

Common Etiquette rules

Exchanging small objects is the polite greeting between passing drifters. Clothes, toys, food, and raw materials such as leather are commonly exchanged. It is considered rude to not stop at the site of a camped drifter for a meal and to share stories, song, and dance.

Common Dress code

Drifters wear whatever color they can acquire; flowers are common additions to outfits. During the warm summer it is common for drifters to wear only a small bottom and perhaps a colorful headpiece, wide-brimmed woven hats are popular.

Art & Architecture

Painted stones and carvings on trees are popular forms of art of drifter art and are often displayed by the side of the river.   Drifters have one structure, the raft. The raft is simply several logs bound together but the drifters pull these onto land and use them as shelters by propping them up. When propped up, they often add sides or a small sun cover. In the event that the drifters must traverse ground, their rafts have wheels on one side.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Celebrating the beginning of summer involves finding as many drifters as possible and setting up a large temporary village where they will create a bonfire and sustain it for several cycles as they celebrate.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

Birth and hatching are subdued affairs for the drifters as they prepare to support the young life in the years to come. A strong - and poor tasting - tea is consumed to commemorate the event.

Coming of Age Rites

Piercings signify milestones in the life of a drifter. Ear piercings or beak piercings indicate the end of childhood while nipple piercings, or chest piercings, indicate the beginning of adulthood. The period inbetween lasts three to seven years.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Deceased drifters are buried by the riverbank so that other drifters passing by may learn of their death, leave flowers on the grave, and celebrate their life as they dance on the riverside.


Beauty Ideals

The drifters have beauty ideals uncommon to the towns and villages of the Zinato Region. Long hair worn down is common among both the human men and women. The tengu among the drifters often wear draping headpieces comprised of shed feathers.

Gender Ideals

Gender to the drifters is almost nonexistent. Everyone works at what they want, dresses how they want, and lives how they want.

Courtship Ideals

Building romantic relationships between drifters is a long and flirtatious affair that involves many meetings over the course of seasons or even years as they pass each other on the river and meet for special events.

Relationship Ideals

Freedom is the key component of drifter relationships; while some choose to be monogamous many do not. Drifters involved with each other might not even travel the rivers together preferring to stay with their home raft. Relationships that go on long enough usually lead to the construction of a new raft on which the lovers will set out on their own.

Stub Article

This article is just a stub for now and will be expanded upon later.

Old Article

This article was written in the past and does not meet my current standards for any number of article quality, layout, or content.

In-Progress Article

This article is being worked on, perhaps not at this very moment, but it is being worked on.

Cultural Rejection

While the drifters have many unique qualities, their inception and continued existence is based on a rejection of the cultural ideals around them. They choose not to be tethered to one place, one skill, or one pattern. Travel is their way of life and they learn many skills along the way.

Outside Perception

People outside the drifter culture see them as unreliable, poor, and without self-control. A general disapproval of their lifestyle is a common sentiment and they are the topic of jokes.


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Jul 7, 2020 10:00

That was such a lovely read about a very interesting bunch of people!   For the initial song, it'd be nice if you put the "snippet" text behind an author bar (if it is a quote box). For more information, check out this page.   As a side note, their burial practices are potentially very "fragile", depending on where they live. If the rivers experience seasonal floods/significant increase in water, the graves could very well end up not being there after a season. Perhaps that is intentional, or perhaps they do something to ensure this is not the case. Either way, it is something worth considering.   I was very keen on the relationship ideals, particularly how people may be in a relationship, but not live on the same raft. I also really liked the idea of art that can be seen from the river, for other drifters to enjoy. All in all: great culture, looking forward to learning more about them hopefully.

Jul 8, 2020 01:17 by Paul

Thank you very much for the feedback. I did not know about the BBCode for the author bar. Time to go fix every article that uses that...   I hadn't considered the fragility of their burial traditions. I like that the graves can be seen by the river by other drifters and that's how they find out about it. Not sure what I could have them do, not yet anyway.

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