BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Haifatnehti People (hai.'fat.nɛ.ti / 'haɪ.fat.''nɛ:.ti)

A note on pronunciation: Haifatnehti nouns are normally stressed on the second syllable in most of the Haifatmizti dialects, as in /hai.'fat.nɛ.ti/. However, in the Andaeni dialect and among those groups under its influence, stress can move to the third syllable when a suffix is added, and minor stress is sometimes added to the first syllable, as in /'haɪ.fat.''nɛ:.ti/.   The Haifatnehti people live primarily in the Free City of Andaen and throughout the Haifatneh Basin. They are typically of medium height (around 165 to 170cm) and somewhat slender builds compared to other groups on the Continent. They sport light brown or medium brown skin, maintain rich, dark hair, and are easily visually identified from a distance as they readily adapt their dress to every seasonal weather condition they encounter. This is somewhat curious, as the Haifatneh Basin really only experiences two major seasons in a given year: A long hot, dry season for the majority of the year and a shorter cool, moist winter.   Distantly related to the peoples of Vast Takhet, the predecessors of the Haifatnehti first settled the Isthmus of Agratekt to the west of the Haifatneh Basin, then migrated northward to what is now called the Andaen Strait and its surroundings, and from there spread rapidly throughout the Basin as their abilities as sailors improved. Though one would expect broad cultural diversity among such a scattered group of people, the Crusade and the Resistance brought about massive displacement and resettlement--not to mention death--that somewhat homogenized Haifatnehti phenotypes and subcultures. Prior to the Crusade and the Resistance, the Haifatnehti peoples featured considerable gulfs in respect to their dialects and other cultural features; the ravages of that conflict and the unity of purpose brought about by the formation of the Rebel Coalition consolidated a collective Haifatnehti identity for the first time. Thus, manners learned in Agratekt can often be applied to visits to Vishan Alay or the Free City of Andaen, and the dialects spoken by disparate Haifatneh groups are usually mutually intelligible.   It is thought that the Haifatnehti once worshipped a vast pantheon of gods, but both persecution and crises of faith during the Crusade and Reconquest largely eroded these traditions. While ruins of temples to mysterious can sometimes be found in Haifatnehti lands, the contemporary Haifatnehti mostly practice ancestor veneration during family holidays, compile and laud their geneological histories, and adhere to a few minor superstitions to ensure continued wealth and safe travels.


Major language groups and dialects

The Haifatnehti people more or less universally speak one or more dialects of Haifatmizti all of which are mutually intelligible with each other for the most part. During the decades-long reign of the Reborn Theocracy, perhaps as many as twenty percent of Haifatnehti people became proficient in Craesprauch, and the Theocracy made half-successful efforts to suppress formal instruction in Haifatmizti. Most of those who learned more than a few survival phrases of Craesprauch were members of the Haifatnehti social elite wanted to curry favor with their new overlords. Members of the lower classes were largely resistant to adopting the Crusaders' ways, but some relented as the more prominent members of their societies did. Prior to the Crusade and the Reconquest, there were numerous other Haifatmizti dialects, and perhaps even languages, which are not attested in the historical record.
The most notable differences among the Haifatmizti dialects are evident in Agratekmizti, rarely used outside the Agratekt Isthmus, has retained a number of pronunciation and syntactice features that have since changed or been lost in other dialects, and it has only been minimally influenced by the language spoken by the Northern Crusaders, in part because the comparatively arid, inhospitable land of Agratekt proved to be an effective base of resistance against the Crusade. Thus, Agratekmizti sounds rather archaic, even literary, in the ears of other Haifatnehti people.
  Andaeni (Andaen Haifatmizti) stands out from other Haifatmizti dialects in a great many ways. Phonologically, Andaeni speakers tend to pay less attention to the usage of long versus short vowels. For instance, while a short 'i' /i/ and a long 'ii' /i:/ have been phonemic in Haifatmizti dialects historically, speakers born and raised in Andaen often fail to make this distinction to the confusion of others. Also notable is that Andaeni syllable stress is influenced by addition of suffixes to a word, unlike in the other dialects; this is seen in the pronunciation of the adjective Haifatnehti (from the noun Haifatneh): The second syllable is always stressed in most dialects (Haifatneh and Haifatnehti), but Andaeni speakers stress the third syllable when the suffix is added (Haifatneh, but Haifatnehti). Andaeni sentence structure also deviates somewhat from that of the other dialects, with Andaeni sentences frequently starting with the subject whereas this is an uncommon structure in the other dialects. (Haifatmizti has historically been a verb-subject-object language.)

Common Etiquette rules

During first introductions, it is typical for Haifatnehti people to provide a small amount of personal background beyond merely sharing their names. In rural settlements and small towns, typically one briefly explains their parentage and heritage for the last few generations of their family history, i.e., parents' and grandparents' names and identities. In Andaen and a few other travel hubs, however, it is growing more customary to introduce the trades or business accomplishments of one's family, or even those of oneself alone.
  Haifatnehti are quite averse to wearing their outdoor footwear in private settings, and it is expected that hosts will make alternative footwear (usually reed sandals or slippers) available for guests. Relatedly, sitting in a posture that causes the soles of one's shoes or sandals to face another person is considered quite offensive, with the exact degree of offense being related to the state of one's footwear.
  When Haifatnehti gather for meals, it is commonplace for the host (in a public setting) or the guests (in a private setting) to briefly describe one or two wishes. While generic, catch-all wishes for good health and fortune are quite acceptable, a specific wish relevant to the other parties at the table, or to the situation or current events in one's local, is considered particularly socially graceful.

Common Dress code

In all but the southernmost reaches and highest-altitude locales in the Haifatneh Basin, Haifatnehti dress for most of the year consists of long, loose, linen robes, trousers and hoods that cover most of one's skin from the sun while being breathable and airy enough to take advantage of refreshing breezes coming in from the sea. Robes are usually light colored but not white, since sand and dust would show easily on bright white clothing. For long outings, Haifatnehti also bring woolen shawls or hoods with them in anticipation of the noticeable drop in temperature after dusk. In the winter, which is often cool and moist in the Haifatneh Basin, linen robes are replaced with woolen counterparts. On the hottest days of the year, hooded robes are accompanied by headbands keeping the hair off one's forehead and, conversely, to keep sweat out of one's hair. Throughout the year, sturdy, securely strapped leather sandals are the norm as far as footwear goes, though these will be left outside or in entry halls in favor of reed slippers in private residences.

In the higher altitudes of Vishan Alay and the Tahwame Bounds, light linens are largely eschewed in favor of wool and leather. In high-altitude settlements that are relatively distant from major cities, durability is valued over fashion and comfort to a greater extent than it is in the Basin's lowlands.

Andaeni dress readily stands out from other Haifatnehti styles due to the diverse influences of the Northern crusaders, Takheti sailors, and Saukkanese visitors as well as the occasional excesses that come with wealth. Andaeni fashion tends to favor more form-fitting clothes, sometimes with a brightly dyed vest worn over them for business and social outings. Robes themselves tend to be more heavily dyed and embroidered as well, sometimes as an overt show of wealth or attention to new fashion trends. Perhaps what stands out the most, however, is that a number of Haifatnehti people in Andaen wear closed toe shoes, mostly those who spend little time out in the elements throughout the day.

Art & Architecture

Adobe construction with a low, flat roof is normative for residences and most other buildings. Haifatnehti builders pay much attention to the airflow provided by windows and open doorways (which are typically veiled by a bead or reed curtain such can even be seen in the Gardens and Galleries District of the City of Andaen, where the few old Crusader-built structures that remain standing have often had sections of their walls knocked out by their new residents for the sake of keeping interiors relatively cool.
  In relatively well established or wealthy residences, interior courtyards are popular as well, providing outdoor spaces which nonetheless have abundant shade. The original intent behind this design was to build a manor or small fortress around a central well so that residents had easy access to water that was protected from potential marauders or assailants, but the practice has since been adopted for the floor plans of most large houses.  

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

The anniversary of the Fall of the Citadel is celebrated throughout the polities of the Haifatneh Basin. The main events of festivals are usually historical reenanctments and military parades, most of all in the Free City of Andaen itself. The Fall of Andaen marked the end of the Crusade and the Reconquest as far as most historians are concerned; while this war itself was terribly devastating throughout the Haifatneh Basin and beyond, the success of the Resistance itself is a point of pride for virtually all Haifatneh communities, as most of their ancestors participated the Rebel Coalition.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Haifatnehti burials normally include at least one personal memento and at least one piece of gear or equipment of use to sailors or other travelers. Additionally, despite the political situation of the Haifatneh Basin having been relatively peaceful in the last two centuries, it remains customary to bury individuals--whether women, men, or anyone else--with at least one weapon. For one who has the misfortune of dying when they are still young enough to fight, failing to leave a weapon in their grave or tomb is considered downright shameful. Armor, however, is typically not buried with the deceased; this practice likely hails from the Crusade and the Resistance, when it was not economical for the Rebel Coalition to both craft and bury a suit of armor for every soldier.

Common Myths and Legends

[to be expanded upon]
  Many Haifatnehti legends hail from the Crusade and the Reconquest, or else from feats of survival and adapation in the face of the hard years that came afterward. One consequence of the devastation wrought by the Crusade and the Reconquest was a considerable loss of cultural knowledge and individual family histories dating from before that period.


Beauty Ideals

Regardless of one's gender, a lightly bronzed skintone is considered ideal, one that suggests a fair amount of time spent traveling or on business but not so much as to indicate a life of hard labor. The maintenance of one's hair is quite important as well; while length varies considerably depending on one's lifestyle, it is preferred that hair is sleek, straight, shiny, and strong, indicating its health.   Quite unlike many other cultures, which either favor heavier builds indicative of wealth or thin builds showing restraint and moderation, the historically hard lives of the Haifatnehti people have long since led them to favor toned, graceful-looking bodies; also notable here is that Haifatneh warrior culture has typically permitted all genders to participate in combat. That said, sometimes wider hips and thicker legs are considered desirable as well due to the (unwarranted) exoticization of Saukkanese visitors and mercenaries Haifatneh lands.

Gender Ideals

Little about Haifatneh gender roles before the Crusade and the Resistance is documented, but the scale of this conflict brought about a revolution in these roles, first on the battlefield and then in the household. As able-bodied people of all sorts were needed to support the war effort, it became increasingly impractical for gender roles in civilian settings to be particularly segregated. Present-day Haifatnehti do maintain some notions of gendered differences in talent in respect to particular trades and professions, but domestic responsibilities remain relatively evenly distributed and related to each partner's individual aptitudes.

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!