The Jaldi of Skjaldkong's ancestors settled on their island home in some of the earliest human migrations. Stereotypically an inhospitable and cold people, the Skjaldkong have a long tradition of isolation that has led to this reputation. Their distant home island receives little trade, and even the Dorcia who share their island rarely make contact. As a result they have developed in relative cultural isolation.
Common Etiquette rules
The Jaldi hold strict rules of hospitality for locals. However, they are generally hostile to outsiders; to earn the hospitality of a Jaldi and become an honourary member of a Jaldi clan may happen in some situations. Saving the life of a Jaldi, being raised by a Jaldi family, proving yourself in the defence of a clan's household, living among a Jaldi clan, offering your help in the harvest season or being accepted into a Inverker or Lodsre. The dangerous landscape of Skjaldkong means finding a hospitable bed may be life or death. The rules of hospitality forbid murder or thievery by either party, and require the household to provide food, drink and bed for travelers who may arrive on their doorstep. Guests must surrender their weapons to their host, in return for these rights. The guest and host should exchange gifts; these may be tangible, or a song, story or word of wisdom.
Common Dress code
The Jaldi wear predominantly wool-based clothing. The cold weather of their native climate led to the development of clothing designed for retaining heat. There is little differentiation between masculine and feminine clothes, and often a husband and wife may share clothes if similar enough in size. A wool tunic with a high neck, decorated with braided embroidery on the collar. The sleeves are traditionally long enough so the entire hand can be tucked inside,. The wealthier wear an undertunic made from imported Npago fabric, usually worn tight, which stops irritation from the wool and adds additional warmth. Trousers are simple, usually woven of wool. The tightness of trousers varies on personal preference, with the loosest clothing generally indicating poverty. Wealthier individuals may wear tighter trousers, using complicated stitching to allow ease of moment. A fabric stirrup often folds trouser under the heel, to avoid chafing in boots. A belt is worn, from which tools and small pouches are suspended from the belt due to the absence of pockets. A wool wrap is wound around the feet and legs up to the knee, providing protection from cold, snow and underbrush. A wool cloak may be worn to for additional warmth, a square of material which is secured at the neck with a pin and can be wrapped around the body. These may have a hood from time to time, especially among the wealthy.
Art & Architecture
The Jaldi generally build earthen longhouses. They are recessed into the ground, a stone foundation is laid, on top of which is a wooden frame, and then turf is placed in blocks around the frame, forming walls and roof until a complete home is built. Doors being the only external wooden aspect. This type of home provides superior insulation to traditional wooden or stone buildings. The only time above ground buildings are generally built is halls used for holding chieftain's councils and animal pens.
Coming of Age Rites
Jaldi men and women come to age at 17. To be accepted as an adult they pass a ritual of adulthood, proving themselves in ritual combat against their elders. The drawing of blood on their opponent is proof of their prowess, and allows them to graduate to adulthood. Those who fail are given a chance in the next year, and should they fail again they are generally consigned to the role of traditional healers and lore-keeper.
The Jaldi commonly practice polyandry, wherein two men share one wife. The relative dangerousness of their lifestyle and high rate of death in men has led to this development. Traditionally, men enter relationships with each other, a Lodsre, and then invite a woman to join as the third party when they wish to have children. These women often have are in an Inverker, a polyamorous relationship between several women in the same village, while the same-sex relationship between men is almost exclusive, with sexual conduct between men and women only happening for childbearing. Marriage is therefore usually only conducted for reproduction.