[...]her waist wrapped in a black fabric that looked like a strange marriage between a high-waisted skirt and a pair of M.C. Hammer pants.A deka, sometimes dika, is a piece of fabric designed to be wrapped around the body. In the Northern Mountains and Greater Pass regions, the customary pattern is tightly below the right knee, followed by loosely around the thigh and the hips, and tightly again at the waist, covering the lower orifices. If there is additional fabric, it is wound tightly around the body up to the bust line and then the remainder is swooped around the torso like a sash, before the end is tucked into the back. In the Low Pass, on the other hand, the length of fabric is several feet shorter than the longest produced in the Greater Pass area, and any excess is wrapped loosely around the waist and tucked into the back. (This has the benefit of allowing the wearer to accommodate other garments, such as furs or garments from other planets, and may therefore be worn in the harsher environment of the Frozen Wastes during Migration or Hunting Season.) The silhouette resembles the takhasar and military dress uniform.
It is worth noting that the deka is most popular in areas which are rich in lore about the Snow Warrior and Snow Pups, which may indicate a since-lost past as a more ritualized and formal garment along the lines of the takhasar. Other theories suggest that the pattern was simply more practical and in wide use as a result, and that formal and informal garments were delineated other ways (such as by the materials used in their construction). The scholarly debate continues to this day. Meanwhile, regardless of its origins, the style of the deka began to vary region by region, first showing alliances or home territory. In some cases spies had to learn new ways of wrapping the deka to hide more efficiently. In the Northern Mountains and Greater Pass regions, the style began to slowly alternate; some decades, a shorter deka tied at the waist was more fashionable, and other decades, the longer fabric wrapped around the body was in fashion (at present, at least in Strares, both styles coexist). Meanwhile in the Low Pass in particular, the garment settled almost permanently into a "mid-length" form where excess fabric is wrapped loosely around the body like a stylish belt. This system is expressly designed to coexist with other garments, such as furs, in order to work as part of the gear of someone on a hunt or during migration. Additionally, parallel to these developments, as the Red-Green Vision Community hit its stride its members began to dye fabrics like the deka in increasingly interesting and personalized patterns, using whatever colors they could find and process. Therefore the deka and related garments became a foundation for identification and expression, and continued to forward the deka specifically as informal wear, compared to its similarly-shaped but more traditional counterparts the takhasar and ceremonial uniform.
Among younger members of Strares droga, specifically those who seek to restore tradition and clan identity in the comparatively metropolitan Strares settlement, the deka is viewed as a primary medium through which to preserve traditional weaving styles and, for some, dye patterns. The Red-Green Vision Community also uses the garment as a medium for dyes. The way the deka wraps around the body highlights the splotchy nature of many red, green, orange, other- or multi-colored dye patterns. Unlike the younger Strares members, individuals with Red-Green Vision prefer to invent new patterns as a form of experimentation.