Ojiin Ethnicity in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil


The people of the frozen tundras of Hyeojiin island and the Shenchuan Tundra


  A people most ancient, the Ojiin are currently believed to be the oldest living culture yet practiced and alive on Zheng-Kitar - their history can be traced back thousands of years to the time of The Sapphire Elves, before the advent of the Spirit Kings . They are also the culture most adapted to the extreme climates of the world - not even the Myrkese are as adapted to living in the cold as the Ojiin, as the Ojiin live in the coldest and most frigid climates in existence. They are tight knight and can come across as heartless and cold, but only as a result of their environment - all they do is in the name of survival.   They have existed so long in the frigid lands of the north, specifically Hyeojiin Island centrally but also in the nearby Shenchuan Tundra, since ancient times - so long that they are believed to have either predated or come about at the same time as Dai-Yukai. Uniquely, the two cultures have a taboo against direct interaction - the reason for this is unknown, but the two cultures have avoided each other and cohabitated the same environments since the most ancient records, forming a strange ecosystem as the two peoples avoid each other, yet contribute to the other's existence. This is partially due to taboos on both sides about interaction with the other, but beyond this details are unknown, as few on either side are willing to speak of it.  


  Ojiin range in height from short to medium, and are rarely tall; their heads to be long and high with broad flat faces, with narrow noses and eyes as well. Their appearance otherwise is almost entirely constructed of animal hides, driftwood, and bones - they are an incredibly simple culture, and many smaller tribes do not even have worked metal, instead relying on tools made out of worked stones such as soapstone, or other materials such as Walrus Ivory, which is extremely common and used to make knives and the like. Their clothing is commonly made from animal skins, sewn together using needles made from bones and threads made from other animal products such as sinew. They tend to wear parkas with hoods, with extra pouches being made for women to carry children on their back and protect them from the harsh wind, and boots were thick things made from thick animal blubber or hide.   Their hair can vary wildly in color, with black and white being the most common, but any earthen colors are possible. Their eyes are similarly colored.  


  The history of the Ojiin is a long one, but one made excessively simple to explain - they are the native population that originally inhabited Hyeojiin Island and the Shenchuan Tundra, and their ancestors were the same breed of hunter-gatherers that they are even now. They endured through the collapse of the Sapphire Elves and the loss of their more advanced technologies, and returned to a more simple lifestyle - eschewing more complicated trappings in favor of a simpler life, a choice they have remained loyal to ever since.   They have had a long history of poor contact with other species and cultures, as they have traditionally been a heavy victim of imperialism since ancient times, though the brutality of their home climate has protected them from the worst aspects of civilization at the hands of others. They are a simple people, with a simple history - they have a made a conscious choice as a people to live a simpler life and eschew technological advancement beyond a certain point.  


  Ojiin culture is a product of their environment - and because of this, they have been labeled as cold, murderous savages by many with rumors abounding about their cultural habits that say they murder their elders and the infirm and those who lose their use, and so on - but this is generally not true. As nomadic hunter-gatherers, they do what they must to survive - and on the move as they migrate across the frigid wastes, when food runs low the Ojiin have little choice but to make the hardest choices imaginable...fully cognizant that the hunters must be the ones to get the food so as to help the rest survive, Ojiin have sometimes been known to abandon infants behind in the snow while on the move, as well as the elderly, though they usually opt to abandon infants first. This is done in the hopes that someone more caring can come along and take the child before the cold does, but also for the good of the tribe.   They are also heavily based around water and the ocean - fishing, whaling, and seal-hunting are all incredibly sacred pasttimes to the Ojiin, as is normal hunting of animals such as foxes, polar bears, and birds and the like. The Ojiin, as a result, are savvy boat-builders - they are quite capable of building single-passenger, covered seal-skin boats to hunt out of and are extremely buoyant...this design was so successful it was said to be copied by the imperial cultures that encountered them. They also make larger boats for transporting people, goods, and animals.   Dogs and wolves are also integral to Ojiin culture - these beasts are tamed and raised alongside the tribe as not only companions, but as beasts of burden and means of transportation as well as hunting companions. In normal conditions and supplies, each Ojiin adult is typically bonded to a wolf or dog, to serve as a companion and hunting mate - they take this relationship extremely seriously, and treat these animals as another part of their families. This makes the Ojiin natural born druids - their lifestyles already put them in harmony with nature, and their lives growing up besides animals means they have natural companions to call on.   Elders are usually the dominant members of Ojiin society - they serve as the keepers of communal knowledge, effectively working as the community library for their tribe. They tend to have the final say in all matters, and for this reason Ojiin hold a deep respect for these elders, as they often also served as shamans and druids who did much to keep the tribe alive and focused. Families are also extremely fluid to the Ojiin - marriages were often arranged, sometimes from birth, and as such families could change, and often did.   All in all, the Ojiin are a people used to adversity - in times of scarcity or trial, they hold no qualms with doing the unthinkable, whether putting the useless to death to save the tribe or to abandon infants or the elderly behind on marches...this does not mean they enjoy doing it, and it is often a heartbreaking thing, but they accept its neccesity - it must be done to survive. They hold a similar approach to law - Ojiin tribes have no law as it is commonly understood by others, and instead they have a notion of "What has to be followed, What has to be done, and What has to be avoided". If one went against any of these three concepts, the elder might have to intervene and dole out an appropriate punishment. Thus, they are incredibly capable at functioning without any specific direction or law - they are good are understanding what needs to be done and what doesn't, and doing so accordingly.
Naming Conventions
Ojiin names are simple,old and tend to follow Eskimo/Inuit naming conventions - their names each have meanings, but are unisex and tend to be passed on from generation to generation, so a grandson could recieve his grandmother's name, for example. Names to the Ojiin are just as valuable family heirlooms as the belongings they owned.
Onartok(Warm), Desna(Boss), Ipiktok(Keen), Anik(Seer), Nanuq(Polar Bear), Kaskae(Chief)


  "Oteq" - An Ojiin word that roughly equates to "asshole", but has colloquially come to be a curse word used for a variety of situations.   "Galer's Ghost" - An Ojiin phrase of surprise or exclamation, similar to "Holy shit" or "Good lord".  


  "Iktuli" - A common Ojiin compliment that has no direct trasnslation to common, but roughly means "that which warms the soul". Said as a common word of compliment, agreement, or to signify something is good, delicious, pleasurable, or makes one feel good in general. Very flexible compliment, as it refers to a feeling.   "Raw" - A generic word of compliment which means impressive, talented, skilled, or sometimes "sturdy" or "well-made".   "Trophy" - A compliment of very high praise that means beautiful, pretty, sweet, and the like. Implies that someone is so impressive and beautiful that they'd worth taking home to one's family and showing off. Likens one to an superb trophy animal, which is actually a compliment to the Ojiin.   "Specs" - Short for "Spectral". Another very flexible compliment that typically is used as a general affirmation of goodness, or rightness. Used also as an affirmation for tough decisions, or praise for those who make them.   "Nervr" - A simple Ojiin compliment used to refer to one with fearsome survival skills, or the ability to survive on their own. Someone who carry many others with the fruits of their effort. If someone is "Nervr", they most likely have the talent to survive in the harshest environment, fight beasts, and last all on their own. A general Ojiin word for "badass".  


  "Qumluk" - An Ojiin word which has no direct translation, but roughly equates to "One who miuses lungs" or "One who wastes air". Used to refer to one who talks too much, prefers words to action, or who gloats excessively. Has become the go-to insult used in Ojiin culture, and is the most common.   "Hat-stealer" - An Ojiin insult used to refer to very greedy people, who are never satisfied with what they have.   "Icechaser" - An Ojiin insult used to refer to reckless, headstrong people who constantly follow their own path. If someone's an Icechaser, they probably do things that put those around them at risk, and are best avoided unless one is prepared for the worst.   "Blackguard" - An Ojiin insult used to refer to someone who behaves dishonorably, or constantly stands out compared to their peers. Also used to refer to one who is excessively independent or individualistic, to the deteriment of the whole. Also a word for traitor.  

Turns of Phrase

  "A total whiteout" - An Ojiin phrase that literally means that a given storm will be incredibly bad. Has coloquially come to mean a bad situation or unpleasant person who has or will drag all nearby into their failings or problems. Has also come to refer to something that's hopeless, or past the point of saving or of no return.   "Do not seek snow in the steps of giants" - An Ojiin phrase used to warn others to leave something alone, or quit nagging about something. A phrase of caution, and to tell others something is best left alone or not looked into, or isn't worth the effort.   "The Frozen" - A word used to refer to those exiled or removed from the Ojiin way of life as punishment. Those marked as Frozen are barred from ever returning to an Ojiin tribe and are exiled into the tundra alone. Also refers to those abandoned by the tribe so the whole might survive in times of scarcity.   "Those left behind" - An Ojiin phrase used to refer to the dead or abandoned. To them, it is the same thing.   "Beg not the blizzard for mercy" - An Ojiin phrase used as a reminder to not expect the strong to show mercy or leniency, and instead, take things into your own hands and do everything to survive. Also used as a warning with dealing with incredible strong or dangerous, unknown people or powers.   "Tow the line, or Tow the grave" - An Ojiin phrase very commonly used as a chant while working or as a reminder to those slacking off. It is used as a reminder to always pull one's weight, and a reminder that only by working together can they survive.   "Nose frozen shut and Ears clogged up" - An Ojiin phrase used to call someone a moron or idiot.


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