Written for Prompt 11 (2019 Summer Camp)
The Hakanut, also known as the Mongrel Hordes of Sahul, are an extremely warlike and nomadic race that ride and raid across the Hakanuh Savannah of the Dunelands.
Asmae, Aya, Imane, Salma, Zineb
Anas, Ayoub, Hamza, Mehdi, Omar
The Hakanut reject the notion of family names, it being a tradition used by the peoples of Myconthern to the Savannah's north who exiled them and forced their culture into southern exile. Instead, they will regard themselves as all sons and daughters of their horselord and will use their firstname as a surname to differentiate hordes.
Major language groups and dialects
Originally, the Hakanut would have spoken Sanarosi as they originally lived in Myconthren but after what is thought to be centuries after the Great Exile, they now speak a sort of Bastard Sanarosi. Mirroring their mongrel blood, this mongrel language shares some similarity with Myconthren Sanarosi with aspects of the language adapted from the Sahulmen of Trahur and the fetishist tribes of the Scar of Surduh. To the peoples of Elgerlia and the Great Western Empire describe the tongue to be rough and harsh.
Common Etiquette rules
Trade and commerce is completely unknown in Hakanut Hordes. To survive in the Hakanuh Savannah is to be in unity with one another for the horselords understand all too well that those who try to survive on their own perish within the week. So, all resources are shared evenly between all members of the Horde, all riches acquired from raiding is used to buy more resources to ensure the Horde survives. The Horselord and their immediate family are given no special treatment like the lords and nobility of other cultures, they act like the pride leaders of lions they hunt, having the first pick of meals and choosing where the Horde raids next and what resources to trade with their profits.
Common Dress code
Due to the blistering heat of the Dunelands, the Hakanut will generally wear as little clothing as needed, with items of clothing being very loose and airy. Vests of soft goatskin leather are favoured by men that wish to wear something over their bare chest, and short, flowing and unbelted tunics are worn by women. Loose horsehair leggings are knitted to wear by all and protect riders from damaging themselves on their horses or humpback horses.
During winter or the night, when the cloudless skies replace blistering heat with freezing cold, long white woollen cloaks with hoods known as burnus are worn to keep warm. Additionally to keep warm, animal skins of painted hounds or wild cats are draped traditionally over the left shoulder to keep the fighting arm free.
In times of war, banners will be attached to raiders' backs that depict which Horselord they swear allegiance to. The personal bodyguard elite of the Horselord, as well as the Horselord themselves, will ride on a chariot decorated in horse bones and strips of banners from defeated Horselords.
Common Customs, traditions and rituals
The entire way of Hakanut life revolves around constant raiding within their Hordes on the various subregions of the Sahul Dunelands and on their ancient homelands of Myconthren. The largest Hordes and most powerful Horselords are feared throughout these regions of the southern continent Sanaros, and through fear of being raided many places will in fact allow the Horde entry to their camps or settlements for some time to rest from the sun, feast and refresh their water supplies so that they will not slaughter their families and pillage their riches and livelihoods. However, this mercy rarely extends to the peoples of Myconthren and a Hakanut Horde will only respect the pleas of a Myconthren lord if they are forced to.
The Hordes that the Hakanut gather in are like small settlements or nations themselves, constantly moving around the Savannah due to their nomadic culture. They are led by a Horselord, the greatest warrior and horserider within the Horde, who as previously stated decides where and what to raid, as well as who the rest of the Horde take their surname from. Everyone within the Horde has their role within the community and family, with those that do not ride or take part in the Horde cursed to never have their souls to ride alongside the Eternal Horseman.
As going by the status names of the Hordes, and the near inability to travel any distance in the Dunelands safely on foot, horses play an integral role in Hakanut culture and life. The majority of horseriders will ride humpback horses that are native to the Hakanuh Savannah, but successful Hordes will be able to trade their riches for steppe horses of Myconthren. A horse is never killed without reason, but a lame horse that is suffering will be put out of their misery since it is likely that they were once someone they knew in theirs or a past life.
The native Sahulians that once roamed the Hakanut's lands now face subjugation at the hands of the Horselords, acting as their slaves. As such, they are not allowed the privilege to ride on the steeds they once taught the Hakanut how to teach, and must tend to their needs. In times of war or raiding, Sahulians will be used a fodder vanguard and infantry troops for strategic Horselords. Here, it has been reported that Sahulians fight like axe-wielding berserkers.
The Hakanut, like the cultures of Myconthren they once lived alongside, believe in a singular God which they call the Eternal Horserider. According to the riders that commune with the spirits and their One God, the Eternal Horserider is the sun itself as it rides across the sky every day, spurring on the Hordes in eternal nomadic life with the whip of heat that blisters individuals too slow. While monotheistic, the Hakanut are also animistic, believing everything surrounding them has a soul, all nature itself is spiritual. This is attributed to one of the many reasons the Hakanut do not settle in one place, with things manufactured being dead in soul. When a horserider dies, the Eternal Horserider takes their souls and places them into a newborn steed one that shall one day be ridden by the Horde they departed.