Borderlander National Industry Tradition / Ritual in Scarterra | World Anvil

Borderlander National Industry

"The Borderlanders are an unruly and backwards lot, but the one thing that can do well is craft beautiful things. Perhaps they do this to compensate for their haggard and ugly countenances.   -Duchess Isabella, Kantoca noblewoman
Nuldrun Dragon by Eron12 using Hero Forge
Nuldrun Dragonbane, dwarf freelance castle engineer
"The Borderlander humans may lack manners and discipline but only fools focus on the surface. Beneath their lewd dialect and behavior, they have their own code of honor, and this is includes a strong work ethic. This work ethnic clearly shows in their handicraft. It's almost dwarven in it's quality."
  It is not uncommon for Scarterrans of every race, nature, culture, and social class to create handicrafts, it's almost as standard as eating and sleeping.   But Borderlander crafts define their culture more than most other societies define their culture.   Most cultures that live in an area with harsh winters are less active during the winter, but live really comes to a stand still for most living in the Borderlands unless. Borderlanders can still tend to livestock, hunt, go ice fishing, and gather winter reagents. but they are more homebound in the winter than most other Scarterrans.   Long and medium distance travel is never easy in the Border Baronies region but during the winter months, travel is outright dangerous. Besides the risk of avalanches and freezing or starving to death, there is the issue that when everything is covered with snow, land marks are obscured and it's very easy to become lost (thus increasing one's odds of freezing or starving to death). There are also monsters that come out in the winter and hibernate during the warm periods of the year. So on average, a Borderlander spends more time cooped up in the winter than most other Scarterrans.   Also, the Border Baronies region is a bit poorer and more backward than the rest of West Colassia, partially because the Border Baronies are difficult to get to and trade with.   Difficult to trade with does not mean impossible to trade with. Because of the difficulty in entering and exiting the mountains, it is easier to make a profit trading in small portable items of great value rather than trying to transport low value goods in bulk.   Also, given that most Borderlanders are struggling to make ends meet and have extra time on their hand, men and women alike are highly motivated to perfect their handcrafts.


The residents of the Borderlands are fiercely independent and are mostly self reliant. This has always been the case at least as long as humans have dwelled in the region.   During the Red Era, the Borderlands were less far behind the rest of West Colassia in terms of culture, technology, and wealth, but in the Feudal Era, the cultural differences are more pronounced. In some ways, this has benefitted the Borderlanders. Paradoxically, demand for Borderlander handicrafts has gone up hand in hand as cultural prejudice has increased against the Borderlanders themselves.   As large scale feudal systems arose putting some economy of scale and predictability among civilized farmers, many peasant farmers found themselves with less unused time to perfect their handicrafts and the Borderlanders surpassed their civilized neighbors in this regard.   Also, as a growing noble and burgher class arises in the so called "civilized world", there is greater demand for crafts that are attractive and not just functional.


Cottage industry handicrafts of all sorts can be found among the Border Baronies Region, but certain crafts are especially common.   Wood carving is very common. Borderlanders make decorative hilts for weapons and tools, decorations for door frames. Most Borderlanders themselve carry etched weapons and tools in their daily life with various designs and patterns of personal signfiicance to them.   Wood Cut art is sometimes made to hang on the walls and is more popular than paintings here. Some Borderlanders like to make large carvings on whole tree trunks. These aren't portable enough for export, but some use these as sign posts and land marks along trail or simply to show off civic pride. It's a huge cultural insult for an invader to destroy or deface these large markers.   Borderlander weavers are renown for their high quality and many Borderlanders create any sorts of woven goods, but tapestries are the most common item exported and many temples and castles around West Colassia are adorned with Borderlander made tapestries.     Borderlanders are pretty laid back about most things but they can be very perfectionist about their handicrafts. Generally only the best handicrafts are sent for export and a lot of Borderlander homes are adorned with "almost good enough" crafts.
This was inspired in large part by this educational Youtube video on cultural commonalities among mountain dwelling peoples.

Cover image: by me with Midjourney


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