Ara people Ethnicity in Salan | World Anvil
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Ara people

The Ara people, live on highlands of the Northern Serme Mountains and are also called Sermardans according to their home region. The Ara are generally short, light-skinned but dark-haired people. They are best known for their excellent wool, and dragons they have tamed.


Major language groups and dialects

The main language of the Ara is Aradal. Ara is distantly related to Nem, the main language of the lowlands, both belonging to the Ara-Faren language family, that is the majority language family of the continent by the number of speakers.   Many of the Ara also speak Sai Õl Tal (Saial language), an indigenous language of the highlands. Even though its speaker numbers have been decreasing since the Aramacänten (Mountain kingdom) conquered their traditional lands, there are still around 3 million Saial speakers left, and in many parts of the countryside they are still the majority.  

Shared philosophy

The Ara are predeterminist, and believe that every person has their own path in life, that was assigned by the divines. A person can only find happiness, if they live according to the class they were born in.   They believe that all classes are equally important and complementary. Without the farmer, the king wouldn't have food, but without the king, the farmer wouldn't know what to do. A key divine in the center of these believes is the Weaver.

Common cultural practices

In practice the commmon people have many restrictions on their life: the can't travel or choose their profession freely.   Every citizen must also pay the work tax assigned by the state. The tax is payed by participating in a public project for a part of the year. For male citizens that usually means public building projects or military service. For females that usually involves doing free woolwork for the country, or in a good case they might ge chosen to join the áçäwals.


Áçäwals are the main scientific organisation of the Mountain kingdom. They are huge walled temples, usually located outside the cities near religiously imporant mountain peaks. Áçäwals were traditionally the center of producing royal and priestly clothing and precerving sacred knowledge. Lately they have developed into centers of education and (especially astronomic) recearch. Even though both genders can join the organisation, it is exclusively lead by women, and the participation of the males is restricted. Because of this organisation, the Ara with the highest education are generally women.

Average technological level

The Ara are notable for having tamed mountain dragons. The dragons are hugely expencive to keep, so they are very few in numbers. They are usually fed with fish provided by the plentiful highland lakes. They are used to hunt large prey for elite consumption, but they are definitely hugely impractical elite status symbols. The Ara are usually just light enough to fly the dragons.

Common Dress code

Due to the cold mountain air especially at night, they wear warm wool tunics and knit caps. Warm clothes are especially necessary while flying. They are the masters of wool-work, and their textiles are highly valued in the neighbouring kingdoms.

Art & Architecture

The most dwellings are small houses around around the terrace farms. The cities are strongly walled and the elite architecture prefers long shapes resembling mountain tops.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Ren ńumürüm, edenäh munüncü. Ímü fawarań sakä fawakäsencä. Edenäh un-pek'äncä saddemäy sakä, ńumüwüm lenäkay sak'ä Edenäh nenäń läytä saläkäsencä. Lenäkay sak'ä ama tamwoh, ama lasäraneh, ama fusüh pek'äncä. Run teläpe un-çeläncä, yátancä.
— An Ara person telling about their funeral customs
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The Ara bury their dead in funerary towers located on the hill tops near the settlements. The towers are visible at all times, and people return to feast at the them regularily. The dead are often naturally mummified in the cold mountain air.   The dead are believed to continue their life much the same way after the dead as they did in this world, and they can communicate with their relatives through their earthly remains.


Beauty Ideals

The elite Ara practice skull modification that makes their head have long shape. The head of a young baby is wrapped for a few months to force the developing skull into the new shape. They prefer hairstyles and hats that enchance the look.

Gender Ideals

Aras believe that just like social classes, the male and female sex are fundamentally different but equally important. The men and women of have different responsibilites and rights both in the household as well as towards the state. Religion and science are thought to be feminine areas of life, while war and politics are masculine.   Sometimes a person is given a path of a different gender than what they seemed to have been born in. Aras believe that these people should follow their path, even if it is a rocky one.
by Tuisku
Ara pastor
Parent ethnicities
Encompassed species
Languages spoken
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by Bgabel (wikivoyage)

Articles under Ara people

Cover image: by Paolo Costa Baldi


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