Karwansa Fish Festival
The fish, prawns, squids, and all other matter of sea life delivered during hurricanic salt storms concentrate over the Brine Marshes, but scatterings also pepper over to the basin's salt side, as well. During food shortages in years past, those living in the valley would follow the salt rivers to their source and wait for a coven to cross their path to bargain for their stores in exchange for pottery, vegetables and cloth. Overtime, the Tinged would lessen the effort put on the travellers, by driving their covens to salt side territory to haggle. Eventually they became comfortable enough to park near cities, villages and hamlets for a few weeks of the season to trade goods, exchange recipes and for either side to find potential partners outside their own culture.
In the last half of the wet season, a train of covens would waltz to a blank bend on the slopes or along the the Pink Creek or onto a number of small settlements along the Karwansa trail. Individual tinge covens arrived when they liked and went back when they pleased, resulting in many lines of tinge families moving in and out of the Brine Marshes within a three month window. While the tinged were loose with the scheduling, folks from the other end planned months in advance (putting aside good food, novelties and fit men) to further entice the matriarchs to return. The reason being that the fish that fall in such abundance in the marsh are either rare or difficult to come by, and the witches do not have access to very many markets; which gives incentive for the two groups partner. This is also a time during which many short cross relations occur in hidden coves, host homes and river beaches. Tinge men take such opportunity and even opt to marry and stay; or a valley woman would marry and move into his family's coven and given powers over her new husband unused to in her own culture. It is a much rarer move for a valley man to the marches or a witch to Salt Side.
Components and tools
In addition, participants are looking to ferment mīchin mōli from the different fish species brought in by the tinge matriarchs. The basic recipe for producing mīchin mōli involves:
- Chop small fish into tiny pieces.
- Add fish eggs and the entrails of sardines and sprats.
- Beat together until they become an even pulp.
- Set mixture in sun to ferment, beating occasionally.
- Wait six weeks or until evaporation has reduced the liquid content of the pulp.
- Hang the reduced liquid in a basket with fine holes in the bottom.
- Place storage jars under the basket.
- Let liquid slowly drain into the jars.
- Collect the liquid in the jars.
During the tri-yearly meetups, personal and cross generational relationships are formed and reinforced which has lead to the creation of identifiable and family specific tastes/recipes that are uniquely desirable to foreign markets. To carve out a niche and maintain supply, the family of one coven would prioritize the search for certain fallen fishes for their mīchin mōli batch and bring it to another Salt Side family with better access to common or exotic ingredients. They, then, divide the the final product among themselves to sell to others, or use themselves. Covens are family run and likewise hold distinct family names. However, their names are unpronounceable to other languages, so as a tactic of marketing, their partners in Salt Side named their unique blends after specific stand-out-features of the family coven's design. As a result, there are sauces of mīchin mōli named:
While the fish and other sea life that have been thrown inland happen throughout the hurricane season. During this time tinge in their covens would journey to Salt Side or people from salt side travel to the Karwansa at least three times a season. Although there are also, many smaller gatherings that take place between individual trader families across the board.