Kiwai Ethnicity in The Great Shift | World Anvil
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Kiwai

The Kiwai were once a tribe of Uruk-hai who were native to the grasslands of Hhwecalan centuries ago. They lived in peace with the land and would offer sacrifices and prayers to the Earth Goddess. As the years passed the offering to the Earth Goddess seemed to no longer bring rain and sun to the land. The Uruk-hai were faced with famine and many believed that what they offered was no longer appeasing the Earth Goddess. Several chieftains decided that the Goddess had abandoned them. In their anger they looked to the land for answers. Through the grasslands ran the lifeblood believed to be left behind by the Old Gods. The shamans decided that the blood of the gods given must be repaid in full. They began to offer the blood of their people in exchange for salvation. Sickened by this idea, the Kiwai traveled east to the sea and began to build ships in search of new lands. They sailed east until the winds no longer filled their sails. As the sun beat down on the Kiwai, they pulled out the oars and let the sea's current take them. Days passed before land was seen in the distance. As the Kiwia grew closer the sea unleashed its fury upon them. Under dark skies and the harsh waves they made landfall in the islands of a darkened sea. While the sea punished those who would not respect its power, the land would offer salvation for a people not willing to sacrifice its own to survive.

Strangers Upon their Shores

As the Kiwai made their home on the Isles of the Gloomy Sea, ships from far off lands would pass through and make landfall to meet and trade with the island people. Many of the sailors were of Duish heritage, who were good to their ancestors in comparison to the Frons. The Kiwai would welcome these people as any who could survive the Gloomy Sea's were worthy of their hospitality. Over the centuries the Kiwai would take in those hunted and banished by the nations of the world.

Culture

Shared customary codes and values

While the Kiwai have lost their nomadic heritage and have settled on the Islands of the Gloomy sea, they still retain their raiding traditions. The Kiwai have continued to raid the towns and cities of the Kingdoms of Man to the east. In recent years, many aspects of Kiwaian culture have taken on many aspects from the other cultures present on the islands.

Art & Architecture

Kiwaian architecture varies between islands and sometimes differs due to the presence of other cultures on the island. Historically the Kiwai would build large tent cities out of woven hemp. On Roya & Havas, the architecture is similar to Ossen construction using mud bricks from the area and clay from the coastal waters for roof tiles. On the Wrsta & Eastern Islands, most buildings are constructed out of stone. due to the presence of the dwarvin population.

Foods & Cuisine

Similar to the architecture, Kiwaian food also reflects the islands population.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Mothers Of The Sea

Women are welcomed on the ships of the Kiwai. As they believe that only madness can be found when men are left alone to sail the seas. The women on board are treated with the utmost of respect. Men who have harmed them are tied to stones and cast off the side of ships. They fear the wrath of the Goddess of the Sea to harm women upon her waters. The women that are welcomed are referred to as Mothers of the Sea. Their duties on the ship is the cooking, cleaning and medical care of sailors.

The Quelling Of The Tides

Each year when the seas are at their most violent, the Kiwai gather to offer a sacrifice to the Goddess of the Sea, Mari. Each Chieftain of the Islands offers the most expensive slave they can find adorned with the most expensive treasures and trinkets. The offering is meant to appease the Goddess and allow them to sail the seas without the fear of them sinking ships and entire islands. Led by the King of the Seas, the chieftains cast the slaves into the deepest known part of the Gloomy Sea. The first quelling took place when the Kiwai first came to the Gloomy Sea and were caught in a storm.

Kiwai Complexion:

The Kiwai have similarities to the Es-Ran but their complexion often sets them apart. Families with strong Es-Ran blood have been known to have blood rose skin color. As older families have a blue or gray hue to their complexion. As complexion varries, the Kiwai eye and hair color is the same throughout. They have yellow eyes that can see in low light and in direct sunlight and their hair is jet black. Kiwai will often grow their hair out as long hair is a symbol of wisdom. 

Naming Traditions

Feminine Naming:

Haukea, Kalea, Lei, Nani, Uʻilani, Etc.

Masculine Naming:

Akamu, Ikaia, Kapono, Koa, Pika, Etc.

Family Names:

The Kawai do not have family names similar to the rest of the world. Families will often take a color and a sea creature that hold meaning for the family as a name.

Gray Whale, White Seal, Blue Tang, Black Shark, Etc.
Related Organizations

Estimated Kiwai Population:

~1.7 Million

The Kiwai only live within the Gloomy Sea. They have long abandoned their ancestral home of the grasslands of Hhwecalan. 

Gods & Deities

Mari, Goddess of the Sea

Long ago the Kiwai prayed to the Earth Goddess and offered her sacrifices. But when famine struct, the Es-Ran looked to offer the blood of their own people to appease her. Sickened by this idea, the Kiwai traveled east to the sea and began to build ships in search of new lands. They sailed east until the winds no longer filled their sails. When the currents brought them to the island of the Gloomy Sea, the ships were struck by fierce waves and hurricane winds. Word spread that during the strongest parts of the storms an aubrun haired women could be seen on the shores commanding the waves. To appease the Goddess, the Kiwai tossed every piece of gold and silver overboard as a gift to calm the seas. When the sea's calmed, the Kiwai offered prayers to the Goddess in the first Quelling of the Tides.

Cover image: by piotrdura

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