Qatiip Ethnicity in Umqwam | World Anvil


The Qatiip are a people who place happiness and pleasure before all else, creating some of the world's greatest works of art. However, this philosophy often leads them to selfishness— making them easy targets for the Ootii.    


The Qatiip appear as stocky humanoids covered in striped patterns of fine feathers in various shades of brown and white. Men's feathers tend to be more white than brown, while the opposite holds true for women. Men are also taller, and thinner, than women. Their heads are covered in thicker white feathers with thin lines of brown coloring which accentuate their brows. Their flattened black noses rest lower on their faces, overlapping their mouths slightly. These are made of a hard material akin to that of beaks, and end in dull points akin to that of a spade for women— or in smooth rounded tips for men. Above this, their wide circular eyes take on piercing orange and yellow hues— on occasion appearing completely black.   Their necks are covered with tufts of feathers, giving the appearance of them having none, and its unique structure allows them to rotate their heads in any direction they wish. Sharing this structure— including the tufts— are their wrists and ankles, which can rotate any which way they desire. Back on either side of their head rest large featherless ears which taper back into dull round points. Tough, scaled feet allow them to walk across most surfaces without need of shoes.    

A History of Little Importance

Our history ain't important. What does th' pas' matter ta-day? Them books can be burnt n' keep me warm, it'd do 'em better n' collectin' dust in a library.
— A Qatiip man
The Qatiip pay little attention to their history, as it brings them meager joy. Despite their insistence on avoiding written records, artwork collected and preserved over the years can be used to tell their story.   The nest they now live in, Yowan, is their birthplace. Once they had lived in constant fear and suffering under the foot of a ruler whose depiction is defaced in every known instance. Children were treated as slaves, taken from their parents and forced to work deep in the mines of the nearby mountains. Rest was seldom given, even to the few chosen to enforce the ruler's word. Their lives were short, and filled with toil— but they would not remain as such. Eventually, the citizenry rose up, and overthrew the one who had plagued them for too long. When they began to build anew, they swore to never let such a thing happen again— they would make up for all the joy so cruelly robbed from their lives.   While many may not know the story itself, it is carried in the hearts of the Qatiip alive today. "Life is for living," the saying goes, "best we don't waste it none."    

Religion & Myth

  Most Qatiip are followers of the hedonistic-leaning faith Yiqua, which centers around the idea of living in the present rather than the past or the future. One cannot be happy if they allow yesterday to haunt today, and one cannot enjoy today if they think only of tomorrow. What's done is done, and what happens will happen— happiness can only be obtained now.   A shunned, cult-like sect of the faith preaches that happiness cannot exist without suffering— and use this as an excuse to carry out cruel acts.    


  Families, friends, travellers— all are welcome, so long as the can prove they know how to enjoy themselves. For those who are stiff, cold, or otherwise unsuited to festivities, their trust is seldom given.  

Greetings & Farewells

One simply spins their wrist in a full rotation to both welcome and see off family or close friends. For enemies— be they friendly rivals or simply disliked— one quietly shrugs their left shoulder as if to shake the other off of them, wishing them away.  


Food is to be eaten the moment it's available. Waiting to begin eating is insulting to the cook, as if one needed to brace themselves before eating their food.  



Parents will mark their newly laid eggs with a vertical line, place them on a circular wooden board marked with similar lines— each for something the child may become when they grow up— and spin the egg. Whatever the line on the egg matches with will determine a carving to be given to the child when they hatch, which signifies a method of gaining contentment. Some show bottles, others friends, or even wings. It is believed that the child will grow up to particularly enjoy whatever it may be.  

Coming of Age

Never wasting an opportunity to celebrate, the Qatiip celebrate two coming of age ceremonies. The first is observed upon the child reaching the age of eight, on this day, they will ride upon each parent's backs til the sun sets. While tiresome in its own right, parents are at least free from work on this day.
I ain't buyin' it, that's a sack of grain wit' yer hat on top of it, not yer daughter. Git back t' work now, 'least you gave me a good laugh.
— A boss to an employee
The second is much more momentous, and signifies one's ascent into adulthood. At the age of 16, friends and family will throw a celebratory feast for the newfound adult. Prior to this, the child will select what food and drink will be present at the event as well as coordinate an activity for it. Popular activities include dancing, singing, and for the introverted— not showing up.  


Life, it is believed, should end with a smile. As such, funeral services are held as large celebratory feasts where guests recall the happiest memories of the deceased they have. Seating at this event consists of thick hollow benches— one of which contains the body. After every memory, these benches are rearranged at random. By the end of the evening, whoever is sitting over the body must then bury it.


War is to be swiftly ended, few welcome it but those who yearn for the constant thrill of battle. Qatiip will make a show of strength by gathering their spellslingers together to create a whirlwind of their combined strength. The hope with this is not to wipe out the enemy forces in one fell swoop, but to scatter and confuse them— causing them to retreat or be quickly dealt with if needed. Explosives— magical and physical— act as a second method of achieving the same result.    

Ideals, Love, & Gender



Qatiip relationships are often polyamorous, though the oft practiced and advised total of partners in any given relationship is three, based on superstition. Any more, and one may dilute the love any single party may give, thus decreasing the quality of each relationship. Ideally one will remain with their partners for the remainder of their lives, but there is no concept of strict loyalty in relationships for the Qatiip, and many will have more than they claim. No courting or partnership rituals are observed, as both simply get in the way of enjoyment; sometimes all one needs is a kind word at the right time.   Despite this, lover's quarrels and fighting as the result of either party sleeping around are seldom seen. It is an understood fact of life for the Qatiip, and no one person can own another.  


As men possess whiter feathers than women, they are generally expected to carefully prune their feathers as any dirt or grime is immediately obvious. In line with this, they are wont to dye colorful patterns on their faces. Common are red circles above the eyes, and swirling blues on their cheeks. Women need only bathe.


Men, with their thin builds, dull, rounded noses, and white feathers are seen as softer— weaker— than women. As such, they are often relegated to work indoors, while hard labor is more often seen as suited for women. One may cross to the opposite field of work if they so wish, but they cannot do so without strange looks cast their way.

Art, Architecture, & Dress



Qatiipic art tends to focus on sentient beings, depicting scenes of spellslinging heroes, celebration, and triumph over nature. Paint is their most common medium, followed closely by forging and metal sculpture, wood burning, and finally song. Their great structures are often embellished with murals, or iron filigrees. A few dedicated Qatiip are heralded as great gunsmiths, as well.  


Qatiipic architecture is primarily of wooden make, with rectangular forms topped by dutch-gabled roofs covered in rounded stone tiles of varying color. Thick, iron filigrees— like metal vines— grace most walls and jut outwards to present various lamps and planted flowers. Terraces and patios are common, allowing for cool comfort on the warmest of days. Wide, circular windows open easily to allow for quick airflow, but close tightly during colder weather to keep heat inside. Indoors, furniture is as detailed as the facade, with elegantly carved wood and woven wicker chairs, tables, and desks topped by cushions filled with down. Corners are often sanded down into smooth, round shapes to keep from needless bumping and cursing under one's breath.   Doorways, like windows, are also circular— not for practicality, but because they are simply more pleasant to the eye. Most settlements rise high above the ground, their wicker streets twisting and turning under and over one another in a chaotic yet somehow connected mass. One could easily mistake a Qatiipic settlement for a ball of wicker on the horizon.  


Men wear long, flowing leather coats which are fastened below their arms and at the waist with belts, leaving their shoulders exposed. These coats are opened along the front, tapering shut at the waist. A long bandanna, typically dyed a bright color, is tied around their neck and tucked beneath the coat to cover their chests. Some will add a metal ring over the knot in back.
Women wear tighter clothing, with thin hide shirts fastened with buttons along their fronts, with sleeves reaching halfway down their upper arms and fastened with string. The underside of these sleeves are slit numerous times horizontally, allowing for air to flow in during work. Finally, loose hide pants are donned over their legs— typically reaching halfway down the shin.
Related Locations


Qatiip naming traditions follow those of their primary language, Wakip.   Names are given twice throughout one's life, once during childhood, and again upon reaching adulthood— each dependent on one's personality. Or, what personality their parents wish for them to have.   A third name is granted upon one completing their Umaq, or life's purpose. Something like a great work or deed.  


A good drink cannot be wasted. If one cannot finish it on their own, they should save it for later, or hand it off to another.   Tragedy should not be brought up during festivities. If your mood is spoiled, keep it to yourself— most wish to enjoy their night.   Don't pick up a feather from the street. Whether it fell from another, was dropped, or blew in— ignore it. It is not yours to touch.  

A morbid song

Song often accompanies festivities, as it is quick to uplift the mood of most. A common song follows.
O' once I 'appened upon a bar o' go~ld;   I pick'd it up and went to the gen'ral store where it may be so~ld;   There was a man inside, waitin' for someone to bring it ba~ck.   'E ask'd what I was holdin';   And I simply told 'im;   It was my granny's skull!   Granny!   My granny!   It's my granny's skull!   I don't know;   'bout no gold;   I'm jus' holdin';   granny's skull!   'E was the sheriff n' didn' like that;   Drew 'is gun an said;   Tell yer granny;   That yer sorry;   I'll tell yer story;   After I shoot ya de~ad!   It was my granny's skull!   Granny!   My granny!   It's my granny's skull!   I don't know;   'bout no gold;   I'm jus' holdin';   granny's skull!
— Common folk song

Posthumous Use

Qatiip don't simply throw away their feathers as they molt. As they molt each year, they will collect what they can in a burlap sack.   Some will simply sell it to a local artisan, give it to a friend in need, or leave it on their doorstep for a secret admirer.   Others, however, will keep theirs to fashion into cushions, add to jewelry, or most commonly— burn it as kindling.

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Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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Dec 7, 2019 23:54 by Amy Winters-Voss

Such a colorful people! Very fun!

Author of the Liminal Chronicles urban fantasy series | Author Website
Dec 8, 2019 02:28 by Grace Gittel Lewis

Thanks, glad you enjoyed them!

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