Umoyaleyn of the Moiyeli Swamplands Ethnicity in Samthô | World Anvil
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Umoyaleyn of the Moiyeli Swamplands

General description

The Umoyaleyn are a subgroup of the Suadleyn who are very hostile towards all other societies. The Umoyaleyn of the Moiyeli Swamplands are no different. Their very presence is unknown to all peoples around the Moiyeli Swamplands except the Mdûlûn to the south who negotiated a peace treaty with them as soon as they entered the general area. That was in the sixth century of the Era of the Earth and since then there was no more contact with the Umoyaleyn so that it is indeed a mystery to the outside world whether they are still there or not.


When the Umoyaleyn came to the area in the sixth century, the Mdûlûn were very nervous. Umoyaleyn are in fact disinterested in conquest, but because of their warlike and hostile nature they are known to scourge whoever crosses their way. The Mdûlûn thus struck a peace treaty with them, hoping they wouldn't press their eastern border while they were involved in a war with the old Duiniken and the precursors of the Confederation of Tarrabaenia in the north. The Umoyaleyn wanted to stay in the Moiyeli Swamplands anyway and agreed to the peace. In the following centuries they cleansed the swamps of the Luak occupying the centre of the area known as the 'Heart of the Swamp' and mostly referred to by its Proto-Duinis 'Éch name Kalon Korkaks. Their culture was already in decline as their connection to their underground brethren has been severed through geological activity during the Era of the Fire.
As the Umoyaleyn are reclusive, none of the adjacent peoples knows what became of them. There are some smaller Duiniken settlements in the mountains south of the swamps which nearly never venture into the swamps. This is in part because of the notoriously dangerous fauna, but also because of the threat posed by the Umoyaleyn, who guard their swamps fiercely, should they notice intruders. They made many venturing into the swamps disappear, earning the Moiyeli Swamplands an even more sinister reputation.


Unlike other Suadleyn societies, which tend to have some form of hereditary leadership in the shape of a priest-king or a king without religious duties, the Umoyaleyn have an egalitarian society. They live in groups of 500-2000 individuals and are mostly sedentary. Still, sometimes these groups break up when they become to big and one part of them wanders off til they come to a place that suits them. Likewise the Umoyaleyn of the Moiyeli Swamplands broke off their mother group to the north about 3900 years ago. They came to the swamps with about 900 people and now have reached a population of 1100. Most live in smaller groups dispersed mainly over the central and eastern parts of the swampland. Still the individual groups are in contact with each other, even without a form of central government or leadership. Every twelve years they convene a moot at the structures in the Kalon Korkaks to celebrate the so-called Cleansing of the Homeland, 'Igmado chibvazêy' in their language, and discuss political matters.

Economy, culture and crafts

The Moiyeli Swamplands are a difficult environment to survive in in general. Apart from regular rainfall, overall high humidity and the exotic and hazardous life forms, the Moiyeli Swamplands do not offer arable land and are relatively low in natural ressources. This necessitates the usage of bog ore or mining of ore in the mountains to the northeast to get metals. For food the Umoyaleyn of the Moiyeli Swamplands mainly hunt or fish or gather fruit. The two materials most often employed in building are wood and reed. But for the most part castle cypresses are modified and used for housing as they naturally grow into having large hollows in their massive stems.
The Umoyaleyn pride themselves in being invincible warriors and the apex of all the Len. They are deeply connected to nature and consider themselves as its biggest protector. Even if the arts and literature in Umoyaleyn society are not as highly developped as with other Suadleyn and their technology is pretty much restricted to everyday goods and crafts like clothing, metallurgy, architecture, jewellery and tannery, they achieved extraordinary levels of craftsmenship. Their clothing is practical and sturdy, matching their life conditions and their warrior identity. Their homes are, as the name of the tree mainly used for housing implies, small, simple and relatively well fortified, not only by their inherent nature, but also by the modifications applied by the Umoyaleyn. Umoyaleyn in general tend to be close-combat warriors and thus use relatively short weapons and hardly use bows and arrows which are often employed by other Suadleyn. The Umoyaleyn of the Moiyeli Swamplands push this to extremes as the environment forces them to use very short ranged weapons. Their hunting parties carry one or two bows as in most cases there will only by one chance to get a clear shot on a target. Otherwise they hunt and fight with short handled axes, daggers, short swords, gauntlets or knuckle-dusters.
The Umoyaleyn practise a religion revolving around worship of nature spirits with a god of war - which depends on the respective group, but for the Umoyaleyn of the Moiyeli Swamplands it is Felzamyu - taking a central position. As the veneration of nature spirits is not confined to certain places due to the omnipresence of these spirits in all creatures or places inhabited by creatures, this religious practise is part of day to day life. Felzamyu is celebrated during the Igmado chibvazêy, since his boon is believed to have enabled the Umoyaleyn to destroy the Luak and get a foothold in the Moiyeli Swamplands. A ritualistic tournament is held to honour the victory granted by Felzamyu's blessing. Another important part of this meeting is the assignment of duties to individuals having attended the Igmado chibvazêy for the twelfth time. This assignment plays an important role in the life of an Umoyaleyn of the Moiyeli Swamplands as it marks the transition from being subadult into a full-fledged member of the community. This is called 'Shimvad Ranzuji', which basically means 'assignment of duties'. This determines the role an individual in society as a whole and is based on scrutiny of the character, talents and traits they express.


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