An oar-marker is a ritual object important to various rites in the Rostran Esotericist faith. An oar-marker is a symbolic adaptation of the Rostran fighting oar; indeed the tradition of using fighting oars as grave markers or 'anchors' for ritual sigils dedicated to Ixutabmut or Ixaumosana dates back to the earlier, more contentious periods of Rostran Archipelago Confederacy history.
A fighting oar becomes an oar-marker when it is driven, handle-first, into the ground. Oar-markers may be placed anywhere where the soil permits, including in shallow water. In general, the more important the person, spirit, or cause to be commemorated, the more stable and high-altitude the chosen site of the oar-marker will be. Once placed, an oar-marker is never removed and is typically maintained by the placer or (in the case of memorials) the family of the deceased. Historically significant markers are attended by their local Hierophants. Eventually, if no one remembers the commemorated entity, the oar-marker is allowed to decay; this is an acknowledgement by the faith community that, in time, the spirit has fully suffused into the spirit world and returned to the spiritual cycle of rebirth. The sites of fully-decayed markers are valid locations for new ones to be placed.
Oar-markers are very common, in the form of both physical examples and artistic motifs, in all Rostran cultures. Both High Rostran and Low Rostran peoples use oar-markers to mark grave sites during Esotericist funerals. There is limited land available for burials and a tendency of the ever-exploratory Rostran peoples to die far from home, making stationary memorials more important for memorial purposes than the actual disposition of the body. Simiarly, the far-flung and isolated Cobalt Rostrans take a 'return to nature' view of death, meaning that, once the body is recycled by one of various means, an oar-marker is often all that remains for the family to direct their spiritual attentions towards. Particularly notable Ovinex are occasionally memorialized through the placement of an oar-marker in their name. While Rostrans and Civil Ovinex regard this as a sign of friendship and high esteem for the departed sheeple, most Native Ovinex are indifferent to the practice to the extent that they even recognize it.
Religious / Ritualistic
Up to 4' high (visible portion)
Raw materials & Components
The original oar-markers were actually fighting oars onto which the names of the deceased or ritual markings are inscribed. In more modern times, oar-markers are intentionally carved and painted from the outset for this purpose.
Oar-markers are usually carved from dense hardwoods using hammers and chisels. Broad brushes are used to apply vibrant pigments to the blades of oar-markers, with each marker usually only displaying one or two colors in accordance to the symbolism of ritual sigils. When possible, these tools are consecrated beforehand via other ritual sigils and the application of sacred Eudoxium fittings. The consecration of ritual tools is of especial importance in the practice of Knappism, where the Knapper of Spirits is said to bless the tools and their craftsmen despite the possibility of other spirits being the ultimate beneficiaries of the items and sigils made with such tools.