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Author Topic: Nechya's Rope  (Read 12884 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« on: 22 May 2007, 12:18:48 »

Overview:  A tradition exists with the Ice Tribes of the northern Sarvonian continent, particularly the Vertans, who live in the farthest reaches of the Icelands Coast.  This tender custom of the Northern Ice Tribes is a gift from the mother to her newborn child: a piece of the  baby's umbilical cord is sewn into a leather amulet.

Description:  As a myth of the Ice Tribes tell: ages past, when humans were created by the union of Phoblit and Nechya, the first human born was connected to Nechya with what was known as "Nechya’s Rope", the Vertan name for the umbilical cord.  This “rope" is considered sacred because of their reverence for life, and therefore, when the piece, which is about a handspan long, attached to the child dries and falls off, it is kept.  A special leather pouch is made by the mother of a newborn, decorated with paint, or with beads or shells, and the dried “rope" is placed inside. The mother whispers a private prayer to Nechya wishing the child a good life, then the pouch is sewn shut.  These prayers commonly ask for fertility for female babies, and strength in battle for the males.

Though the female babies are not considered as desirable as the males, they are given this prayer so that they may grow up and give birth to more males.  The male babies are often given a small totem, an arrowhead for example, to keep in the pouch as well.  This totem is believed to transfer a bit of magic to the wearer.  An arrowhead would be considered to give off luck when it came to hunting or to warfare; a coin might be given to imbue the wearer with the gift of fortune.

The pouch is kept around the child’s neck, and stays there through the course of one’s life, never to be taken off.  It is, however, repaired through the years, if the pouch were to get damaged, or brittle from age. To lose one is considered serious.  When this happens, a tribal shaman will pray over the person, asking the gods for protection.  Meanwhile, another pouch is made and a lock of the person’s hair and a small personal item is placed in the new amulet.  However, a new amulet is never considered as strong in protection as the original.  All possible attempts will be made to reacquire the original.

Location: This old tradition is still practiced regularly in Vertans, Filmainrim, and as far south as Sanartrim.  There are a few people in the other tribes that still practice this tradition, but very few.  Among the Himiko, the tradition has been lost completely.  As there is more intermingling with societies from the south, this quaint custom seems, unfortunately, to be losing its importance.

Variations throughout the Icetribes:  The Vertans are the most fervent in their belief that the loss of the amulet has grave consequences.  Warriors that have lost their amulet have been known to spend days fasting and praying, while a new amulet is made.  More so, some of these warriors have been known to replace the lost umbilical cord with another body part, such as a little finger, a toe, or a piece of ear.  This practice has been attributed to the myth of Uraghadze, where a mighty warrior offered a great sacrifice to regain Nechya's favor.

Myth/Lore:  There is a story told of the importance of Nechya's Amulet.  No one knows the origins of the story, just that it has been passed down from generation to generation since the beginning of time.  All the Ice Tribes know this story, but the Vertan people hold it dearest to them.  The hero, Uraghadze, would go on to figure in more myths of the Ice Tribes.

Uraghadze and the Caracal
In the forgotten time, there was once a warrior who was named Uraghadze.  He was a mighty warrior, and the leader of his people.  It happened that one day he was out hunting alone, when he became face to face with the great cat, Caracal. Knowing that his death might well be imminent, Uraghadze readied his spear and faced off against Caracal.  The man and the beast fought savagely for several days, neither tiring, neither getting the upper hand.  Though Uraghadze was wounded, and exhausted, he at last was able to pierce Caracal's flesh, wounding the animal gravely.  Caracal, knowing that he would die, snatched from the neck of Uraghadze the amulet of Nechya's Rope.  Caracal then ran off across the snow, leaving Uraghadze alone.

Uraghadze, on seeing what Caracal had done, dropped to his knees in the snow.  "Nechya, forgive me, for I have lost what thou hast blessed me with.  My soul is lost."

Now Caracal, having stolen the amulet, prayed to Nechya as well.  "Oh great Nechya of the People of the Ice.  I have taken your amulet, and ask that you favour me with life.  Heal my wounds, and let me live, strong as before."

No sooner had Caracal said those words that his wounds were healed.  He then laughed aloud to himself.  With the amulet, everlasting life would be his.  With that, Caracal began to hunt the People of the Ice, feeding off them as he would a newborn Pinnip.

Now, Uraghadze was beside himself with grief.  Having lost his amulet, he knew that it was Nechya's anger that allowed Caracal to hunt his people with abandon.  He knew that the only way to stop Caracal was to offer a sacrifice of great importance.  Grabbing his axe, and walking out into the snow, Uraghadze was determined to make amends to Nechya.

Falling to his knees, Uraghadze prayed.  "Nechya, hear my pleas.  Without your protection, I am a man who cannot protect his people.  Without you, I am no longer whole.  I am only a man, and you are my right hand."  At that, Uraghadze brought down his axe, completely severing his right hand.  He fell to the ice, unconscious.

When he awoke, to his amazement, Uraghadze found that he possessed a hand made completely of ice where his right hand had been.  With this frozen hand, he possessed the strength of a dozen men.  Gripping his axe, and offering a prayer of thanks to Nechya, Uraghadze set off in search of Caracal.

When the two met, they pounced on one another.  Caracal fought bravely and ferociously, but he was no match for Uraghadze's frozen hand, and the mighty warrior slew the creature.  Uraghadze brought home the pelt of Caracal and fashioned from it a fine coat, that kept out the bitterest winter wind.  Ever after he was known as Uraghadze Hanno-eck-Icsain, Uraghadze Ice Hand.
« Last Edit: 11 August 2007, 15:16:43 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #1 on: 23 May 2007, 02:18:56 »

A neat idea!  I like it.

What you might want to do is write up several Ice tribal customs (i.e. marriage ceremonies, justice  and legal issues (crime and punishment) special rituals such as coming of age rituals,  burial ceremonies, etc., and then include them in a single document under Customs and Traditions of The Ice Tribes, or something like that.  Since Pikel wants to write up the Ice Tribes religion, you may wish to get his input for any religious aspects of these ceremonies.  For some ideas, look up how I've written this kind of thing up for the Kuglimz, under Northern Sarvonia, under Humans, under the Races icon in the ste menu.

Alysse
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Takór Salenár
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« Reply #2 on: 23 May 2007, 04:26:07 »

A nice idea, I agree.

I don‘t know, if Alysse wants to add some comments later, I hope I don‘t interfere with them.

If you are interested in writing up such things for the icetribes, I would contact Curgan, if he is ok with it. I would not like to meddle others with my Shendar or even the unwritten Himiko.



Ages past, when the gods were creating the world, humans were created by the union of Phoblit and Nechya.


The entry doesn‘t say, that the gods created the world.We have only this sentence
These gods - according to Icemen mythology- are the breed of Afrasnyr the hermaphrodite chaos god, who - being alone for eternity - decided to fight with his own self and, during the struggle, he split himself to the 15 gods living inside them.

 It is a bit unclear and I would, not create a fact as long as somebody else is working on it.


  The first human born was connected to Nechya with what was known as Nechya’s Rope.  This “rope", Isn‘t the proper name „cord“? is considered sacred, and therefore, when it dries and falls off, it is kept.
“When it dries? „  What part dries? This is a bit unclear. You are talking of drying and falling of, but this is only a very small part of the umbilical cord, depending on where the cut was made.It is normally about half a ped long. So what part is sacred, only the one which remains with the child? Or the whole thing? It could be kept as well
 A special leather pouch is made by the mother of a newborn, decorated with paint, or with beads or shells.  The dried “rope" is placed inside. The mother whispers a private prayer to Nechya wishing the child a good life, then the pouch is sown shut.  These prayers commonly ask for fertility for female babies, and strength in battle for the males.  It is kept around the child's neck, and stays there through the course of ones life, never to be taken off.  To lose one would be tantamount to losing ones soul.

I don‘t know either, if it fits to the general world sight of the icetribes that both genders are treaty equally. Women are property and a female baby is probably not much worth. So would the icetribe have the same ceremony for both genders? Maybe the mother puts something else in this pouch? Then we would have an amulet like the North American natives.

it is too short to go on the site as it is, maybe you can ad more description or think about more customs like Alysse proposed?

And don't forget to give Curgan a note.
.


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« Reply #3 on: 23 May 2007, 06:19:57 »

Ok, I will contact Curgan to see if it works with him.  I haven't seen him online the last couple times I was on.  Perhaps I'll PM him.

Hmm..you are correct about how I worded the "created the world" bit.  I'll see if I can find a better way to rephrase this. 

Cord.  Yes, it is our proper word for it.  I thought i would put "rope" as it is a bit more exotic sounding.  If it too unclear, we can change it to cord, it wont make an impact on it.  I will leave that for the geneal concensus.  I will also elaborate on which part is kept.  I did leave that a bit vague, I'm afraid.

Girls/Ceremony.  I'm not sure if I would go so far as to describe this as a ceremony.  I was thinking more of a folk tradition.  It is because of which, that I thought both sexes would have this done.  Although in a societal view, girls are not worth much, but to a mother who just gave birth?  I was thinking that in that case, she would want to place a prayer and a good luck token in an amulet.  If it is beyond the capability of an Ice Tribe mother to want this for a daughter, we can certainly make it for boys only.  I realize that women are property, but their would still be some value placedd upon them, after all, no women, no children, no children, no Ice Tribe.  But, I won't put my back up on this, lol.  Again, I will go with the concensus.

Finally, adding more ceremonies.  I'm not sure how good I would be at that.  I will look at Alysse's Kuglimz entry for ideas.

Thank you both for the comments.
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Alysse the Likely
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« Reply #4 on: 23 May 2007, 06:49:26 »

I think that Takor's right here, they would likely do something more for boys, just because they do put more "value" on boy children.  That doesn't mean they wouldn't acknowledge girls, though Perhaps you can take Takor's suggestion, and have something added for a boy's pouch such as an arrowhead made by his father or something like that.

Is Curgan around?  I hope he can comment on it too.  Perhaps he's busy with RL. 

Bard Judith (dwarves) Takor (Shendar) and I (Kuglimz) have all done fairly intensive cultural developments for our various tribes/races (I'm sure others have too, but those particularly come to mind) with regards to crime/punishment, gender roles, adulthood rites-of-passage, marriage/birth celebrations. etc, so all or any of those people can provide examples through their work, of what sort of things you might want to address.

Well, RL is intervening, so I've gotta go.

Talk to you later

Alysse
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« Reply #5 on: 23 May 2007, 09:27:46 »

A half-hour or so in the library flipping randomly through Fraser's "The Golden Bough" (the seminal work on folklore, mythologies, customs, traditions, and superstitions) will give you more ideas than you know what to do with.    I wish my copy weren't packed away in Alysse's basement back in Canada....

Curgan was just spotted in the Moot!  Give him a PM and see what he thinks...
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #6 on: 25 June 2007, 11:18:09 »

I have updated this entry.  I PM'd Curgan and he asked for a list of Ice Tribe entries I was working on, which I gave him, but I haven't heard anything since.  So, I have worked this a bit more.  Give it a read and see what you think.
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« Reply #7 on: 26 June 2007, 16:32:38 »

The idea is very good. Some remarks now.

Wearing the pouch at all time and loosing it meaning the loss of one's soul, would be a bit of a paradox as life in the icelands is so harsh that people would very easily loose it (when chased by a bear for example or in a battle). Maybe they had some other use for it or it was considered a precious relic, but if lost it wouldn't matter that much.
Maybe they kept it as a treasure at home and wore it on celebrations.

As for the females; in a society that threats females as living things (or close to that anyway) a  tradition or practise that assimilates them with men would be unthincable. However, as this applies for good health etc I 'd like it to be the same for both sexes. 
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #8 on: 01 July 2007, 08:52:41 »

I have reworked the last paragraph.  See what you think of the revised bits.
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« Reply #9 on: 02 July 2007, 16:29:02 »

Good!!!!! cool
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« Reply #10 on: 03 July 2007, 11:28:04 »

Woohoo!  Curgan's stamp of approval.  Does this mean this may be close to being complete?
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« Reply #11 on: 21 July 2007, 04:28:33 »

Is this ready for update?
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« Reply #12 on: 21 July 2007, 04:29:41 »

I can only integrate something that has a proper entry format, Altario.
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #13 on: 21 July 2007, 04:47:25 »

I'm not formatted corectly??
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« Reply #14 on: 21 July 2007, 04:57:50 »

Entries are split into sections. Overview, Description, Myth/Lore, whatever applies.
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