Carvaneers

You find one folder gathering elements from the Almanach of Peoples of the Cylinder. A small tag on the side of the folder specifies that the encyclopedia was published in 5539 and was compiled from internal sources of the Library   The Carvaneers are nomads roaming the North of the Cylinder. They often spend time on the road alone and not in large moving camps, which makes them more appreciated in sedentary kingdoms than most other nomadic ethnicities.   Carvaneers are descended from the Nordic ethnic group. They are typically short, very pale-skinned, have red to white hair and light-colored eyes. However, it can be noted that the individual lifestyle of the nomads lead to much more mixing with other groups than what is usually found. As a result, some Carvaneers happen to have brown eyes, or a darker skin than usual, etc.   Although they do not claim any land, the Carvaneer people consider the Great Herd, a gigantic feral Cowttle population in the North of the Cylinder, as their own, and are particularly protective of that Herd.

Naming Traditions

Unisex names

Since their society is genderless, any name can be used by anybody. However, Carvaneers like originality. As a result, upon naming their child, they try their best to find a name not currently used by any Carvaneer they know of.This is both accomplished by looking in old records for names that were used several generations in the past, and by spending several months looking for every Carvaneer the parents know of, and cross them of the list.   Apart from this desire of originality, Carvaneer names often describe natural elements, that is to say, plants and ice formations. Willow, Basil, Lichen, Velvet, Wattlenut, Maple, Birchbark, Fernleaf, Droplet, Clover... are all some existing Carvaneer names.   A result of Carvaneer's craving for originality is that although existing, one's family name is rarely necessary for identification. It is used when one meets another Carvaneer, as a way to remind the comrade of someone they might know from books they have read in the past, or from stories from their own parent.

Family names

Family is not paramount amongst Carvaneers: children are usually single raised by one of the parents, until they are old enough to tame their first cow and start living on their own. This happens around age thirteen, and is the cause to a sudden surge in mortality around the same age, mortality that stabilizes over time.   The last name of a Carvaneer is generally the name of the person who raised them, with -yer- as a prefix or a suffix.

Culture

Art & Architecture

The Carvaneers do not have any architectural style, since they simply never raise buildings. Individuals move alone with a cow, and a small cart having their tent, sleeping bag, and food. As for the cart, it would be fairly exagerated to define it as architecture. It mostly consists in wood, ropes and scraps of cloth either found on the road, tied or nailed together so that it doesn't fall apart to much whilst moving.   However, Carvaneers are very reputed for their keen dispositions toward arts: kids are taught to read, write and draw at a relatively young age. Carvaneers often carry books with them. Said books relate histories, myths and legends of their people, with fairly intricate illustrations of landscapes and wild beasts they meet in their voyages.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Nomadic people in the Cylinder are recognized as an independant nation as long as they happen to have regular gatherings. That is the case for the Carvaneers. Indeed, once every year at the end of autumn, every Carvaneer travels up North toward the current position of the Great Herd.   The gathering, lasting a dozen days, consists in a rapid sequence of political decisions, parties, and musical events. It ends with the Grand Taming, where Carvaneer teens get to tame their first Cowttle.

Coming of Age Rites

Every child risen by someone of Carvaneer persuasion has a coming of age rite around the age of thirteen. The ceremony, called the Grand Taming, occurs during the annual gathering at the end of autumn. It is exactly what can be expected from a rite with such a name. The child is left alone in the middle of the Herd, and is observed by their family. They have to choose one Cowttle that they want to bond with, and slowly have to approach the animal, until they manage to feed it, pet it, and mount it.   Cowttles from the Great Herd being four-hundred-kilogram and proud beasts, the ceremony often lasts several day, during which the youth doesn't eat anything apart from grass, and slowly gets the animal to be used to their presence.   Once the Taming is completed, the young Carvaneer is considered an adult. They will now part ways with their parent, and move on their own around the Cylinder. Whilst they do have been trained by their parent to survive on their own, the first few years are fairly harsh for Carvaneers. A lot of youngsters die in the first winter, or get mislead to the Mountains, or mistake stinging berries for face pigments. It is commonly admitted that a Carvaneer that makes it past their 18s will most likely grow old.

Funerary and Memorial customs

The corpse of a Carvaneer is rarely recovered by its people after one's death. This can be explained by both the fact that Carvaneers are living alone and rarely meeting each other, and that even if said body was found, the smell would become unbearable before it reached the Great Herd.   However, when the death of someone is confirmed, the book they wrote are gathered in the great Herd. People believe that said books contain the soul of the Carvaneer. So as to help the soul reach peace, the books are burnt in a ceremonial fire. The ashes are then dispersed in the plain where the Great Herd is.   So as to avoid losing information on one's life at the moment of this fire, it is frequent that one Carvaneer copies the work of an other on one of their own books, or tries to write the biography of a deceased friend based on their memories. However, because of their lonesome lifestyle, most information given on said friend's life is either slightly inaccurate, simplified, or blatantly wrong.

Common Myths and Legends

Like most people in the Cylinder, Carvaneer believe, not entirely wrongly, that nature is filled with sentient spirits that observe and protect them, although that last part is quite controversial.   The central point of Carvaneer's lives is the Great Herd, and what they consider is its relation to the light of the Circle. It is said that the Great Herd forms one great spirit, split among the individual minds of the several cows. That spirit is Bioov, a god of life. It is said that the spirit of the Circle is in love with Bioov, but Bioov has to live in its opposite. To prove its love, the Circle sends light particles everywhere in the Cylinder as a love message toward the Great Herd. That light is so full of life that it makes plants grow, and it heats the floor. When the great Herd sees that the Circle is tired of sending its light, it stops moving and get some rest. The Circle, seeing that its love is asleep, stops to emit light, so as not to wake it up.  
  According to Carvaneer beliefs, one's soul is stored in the books one writes during their life. As a result, sharing books and writing together is a way for people to create a strong, and beautiful, bond between souls. Whether the book deals with cookery, music, or beard-combing techniques, the bond will always be as strong, as people just poured a part of their soul and personality in it.   As a result, as the books one wrote are burnt upon one's death, the bonds the soul has with the livings will not be broken. It is considered that as long as some books still exist that one contributed to, the person will not be forgotten. When the last books someone has participated in are burnt, the deceased is finally forgotten, and entirely detached from the world of the livings.

Ideals

Beauty Ideals

According to their views, one's ideal body is resilient, built for survival. Carvaneers are expected by their peers to be fairly muscular, and not too large, as one's huge size doesn't make one seem resilient.   However, Carvaneer's main ways of deciding whether one is or is not beautiful is based on their facial traits and their make up. Facial hair is a fairly popular trait, and one is proud to show off their well sculpted, combed beard. Carvaneer make-up customs make them quite recognizable. They can work intricate patterns on their face and arms every single day, using any pigment they can find around. It has to be noted that as a result, recognizing what can be used as pigment somewhere, meaning, what won't burn/freeze/poison one's face when applied, is the staple of Carvaneer knowledge, and is the content of a particularly impressive amount of books.

Gender Ideals

Since the Carvaneers are culturally descending from Nordic groups, and since their nomadic lifestyle does not require much social specialization, their society does not have gender norms.
Parent ethnicities
Encompassed species
Languages spoken


Cover image: by Pouaseuille

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