Oytzikliztin Tchex: Day of Thieves Tradition / Ritual in Qet | World Anvil

Oytzikliztin Tchex: Day of Thieves


Oh-yiht-z-eek-leez-tihn Tih-kesh

The creature had crawled through the window! But! A clever little girl set a snare behind it— stopping the thing before it could steal from her family. And we're proud of her, aren't we?
— A parent to their child
  Oytzikliztin Tchex, or, the Day of Thieves, is a holiday falling upon the first day of Xeyk? which is primarily celebrated by the Hontualieu? who practice the Qetqep? faith.  

Little Thieves

According to Hontualieu myth, when night falls upon this day, vindictive creatures known as toue oytzikliz— literally meaning earth thieves— set out to take back what belongs to nature. Typically, this means stealing food, animals, and crops from the humans, who they believe stole them away in the first place. Of course, not knowing that the crops, the animals, and everything else had been willingly given to the humans— according to Qetqep belief— they are simply a nuisance for all parties involved.   To protect their food, believers set up traps for the toue oytzikliz, from simple snares to complex systems of ropes and pulleys— depending on the individual. Most are set by children, or by collaborative efforts with their loved ones. In reality, few adults actually believe in the existence of the creatures— rather, the holiday is meant to instill in children a greater respect for their food, alongside a duty to protect it. Overnight, parents or appointed individuals in the community will quietly place earthen figures resembling the creatures in as many traps as they can find.   These are often prepared a few days beforehand, and hidden away from young eyes. The fist-sized figures are conical, with three bright white stones set in their surface as eyes, and four sticks in their sides as arms. Upon sunrise, children are encouraged to break open the earthen figures to find treats or knickknacks "stolen" by the toue oytzikliz.

Accidental catches

As traps are often set in places where vermin or monsters may tread— every year a few real thieves are caught.   On a few rarer occasions, humans are caught as well— most typically those tasked with placing the figures, but sometimes including extraordinarily foolish thieves.  
Listen, brother— they're expecting food to go missing— it's the perfect day to fill our bowls!
— Thief

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Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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Dec 31, 2020 19:30 by Aster Blackwell


Dec 31, 2020 22:57 by Grace Gittel Lewis

High praise, thank you!

Jan 1, 2021 14:54 by Michael Chandra

Reverse easter bunnies! \o/

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Jan 1, 2021 19:48 by Grace Gittel Lewis
Jan 1, 2021 15:40 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

This is such a fun little article - I love that people go around and place figures in the traps. <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 1, 2021 19:49 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Better than my original idea which was the figures being meat and/or skinned livestock that looked like the corpses of the creatures. (Which I changed because that'd waste food.)

Jan 15, 2021 22:33 by Aster Blackwell

Yikes, that'd also be horrifying!

Jan 15, 2021 22:44 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Which was what I wanted! At first, at least. haha.

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