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Arzhel2

A group of Arzhel barbarians.

(This article is under construction)

IntroductionEdit

The Arzhel are a human tribal culture that inhabits the northernmost regions of Linerra as well as small portions of the Northern regions of Ageos and Ursya. They are among the most well established of the human cultures known as “barbarians” and are well known across the world of Sidereus. The Arzhel are a proud and complex people with a long history of heroes and conquerors. Despite their seemingly primitive origins, they are intelligent as any other human culture, and many scholars frequently reference their high level of sophistication. Despite the tendency of Arzhel tribes to war among themselves, they are known to band together when faced with an outside threat.

Small bands of Arzhel warriors frequently offer their services as mercenaries to those who can afford it. These warbands have been seen in many major conflicts since the middle of the Third Age, though they have garnered the Arzhel a poor reputation as a whole because these mercenaries tend to be less concerned with the moral scruples of their employers. Arzhel are frequently hired by warmongers and brigands who are in need of skilled warriors to fill out their ranks. Despite this some of the Seven Kingdoms (most notably Danarea) have resorted to employing Arzhel mercenaries to support their primary forces from time to time. Thus far the Arzhel, despite their significant size and reputation as a group, have played little part in the political events of the world of Sidereus. Occasionally an Arzhel chieftain will gain some level of notoriety and attempt to make a name for his tribe, but even these attempts are often lost in the shadow of the more dramatic feats accomplished by agents of the Seven Kingdoms or warriors from other cultures. Many scholars believe this is largely due to the lack of a written historical record in most Arzhel tribes. Despite influence from other cultures, the Arzhel are particularly tenacious in retaining the identifying factors that make them culturally distinctive. As a result, many more “civilized” human societies believe them to be primitive and barbaric, often resulting in Arzhel people being considered stereotypically unintelligent or crude.

HistoryEdit

The Second AgeEdit

The first recorded appearance of an organized Human group identifying itself as the Arzhel is near the end of the Second Age. The Elven scholar Eveliina Nikulainen records an encounter with a band of identifying themselves as the Arzhel. During this encounter it was the Nikulainen and her compatriots who aided the Arzhel in battle against a band of Blood Orcs. Nikulainen comments that the Arzhel fought with an “unbridled fury…that all at once inspires respect, awe, and a sense of palpable terror…” (E. Nikulainen, On the Children of Fënrir – an Illuminated Perspective [Volume II, 2047 SA], p. 107). At first the Arzhel were little but a small tribe of Humans. Traveling from north to south on the eastern coast of Linerra, they are believed to have slowly gathered more Human tribes to their banner, through coercion or force, eventually growing in size.

For some time after this initial appearance, there is little to no recorded information about the Arzhel to be found. Aside from the occasional raid attributed to an Arzhel warband, little reference is made to them until the beginning of the Third Age. The scholar Azalam Laelius was the first known scholar to record information about the Arzhel nearly one thousand years after their first appearance. Laelius writes; “Isolated in the far North, the Arzhel people seem to have developed some affinity to the harsh climes of the snowy regions, seeming quite at home among the moose and the bitter freezing winds. The Arzhel have become both numerous and strong, though their strength is split into many disparate tribes, all taking up an icon (or totem as they call it) representing some animal to which the particular tribe pays homage…” (A. Laelius, Travel to the Frozen North [Volume I, 37 TA], p. 48). At this point the Arzhel had already grown to a large culture rather than a single tribe, and had spread to all of the points they continue to inhabit to this day.

The Third AgeEdit

By the middle of the Third Age, the Arzhel had both renown and considerable military strength at their disposal. Scholars suggest that had it not been for the tumultuous events put into motion by the machinations of the Dark Lord, the Arzhel may indeed have become a principal power among the Human peoples of Sidereus. As the forces of Shadow moved into full force, many of the Arzhel tribes fell under the dominion of Onûs or one of his dark compatriots in a desire to protect themselves from his minions. Most notably, the Tribe of the Owl and the Tribe of the Viper still revere Onûs as a patron, though the continuation of this practice has created a social environment that is more willing than their ancestors are believed to have been.

It is believed that for most of the Third Age the Arzhel people fought desperately for survival against the ever growing hordes of Blood Orcs and Shadow Orcs of the Northlands. Without knowing, they were instrumental in securing the safety of the peoples further south, as the Arzhel decimated the Orc hordes in many protracted conflicts. The losses to the Arzhel were not minor however. Two tribes, both well established, were wiped out entirely by the brutal onslaught of the Orc hordes. The Tribe of the Fox and the Tribe of the Turtle suffered grievous casualties and were forced to disband and join other tribes. As a whole, the Arzhel are believed to have lost thousands of warriors and non-combatants throughout this period.

In the second half of the Third Age, an Arzhel chieftain known as Oddvar the Seer took control of the Tribe of the Stag after defeating its previous chieftain in single combat. The oral tradition states that Oddvar called upon “soul magic” or the power of his spirit to literally flense the flesh from his rival’s body, smiting him into the ground. Oddvar was known for his powerful premonitions and precognitive abilities. It was these very same abilities that led him to the worship of Sléachta. According to the oral history of the Tribe of the Stag, Oddvar was visited with terrible visions of destruction and darkness. For three months these visions continued until finally he was visited by a lesser demon in the service of Sléachta. This demon bade Oddvar to take up worship of the Black Wolf and follow his ways, and Oddvar obeyed. Changing the name of the Tribe of the Stag to the Tribe of the Black Wolf, Oddvar turned nearly all of his tribesmen to the worship of Sléachta. The Tribe of the Black Wolf was eventually infiltrated by Lycanthropes sent by Sléachta to mingle with the tribe.
The Tribe of the Black Wolf still persists today, and the Tribe of the Stag was restored some years later as the Tribe of the White Stag.

Oddvar led the tribe of the Black Wolf on a number of “Blood Hunts” where his people raided villages of other tribes, even carrying their bloodlust into the midst of the lands of the Seven Kingdoms. It is believed that Oddvar was a psionicist, who used his power to coerce and control his warriors in battle. Oddvar is also believed to have encouraged mating with and submission to a number of evil lycanthropes in the service of Sléachta. Oddvar and his people raged at battle for years before they were finally defeated thanks to the combined might of Egoras, Fyndara and the Elves of the Silvermist forest. Oddvar himself was slain by an Elven Ranger’s silver arrow, and his troops broke and fled. The Tribe of the Black Wolf still exists today, and they continue their practice of mingling with evil lycanthropes, as well as their worship of Sléachta.

In the years and decades following Oddvar’s “Blood Hunt”, the Arzhel people experienced a rift in moral and social ideologies. Many Arzhel fell into the worship of the dark gods, practicing gruesome animal and mortal sacrifices, and entering into violent conflicts with the Arxus and Derew of the region. These tribes are considered radical by the more traditional tribes that still follow the old ways. The traditional tribes continue the practices of revering all of the Ilith’ari as equals, respecting nature, and entering into battle only where necessary or threatened.

  • Notable radical tribes: Tribe of the Black Wolf, Tribe of the Viper, Tribe of the Scorpion, Tribe of the Red Bear, and the Tribe of the Black Bear
  • Notable traditional tribes: Tribe of the White Stag, Tribe of the Elk, Tribe of the Bear, Tribe of the Badger, and the Tribe of the Cougar.
  • Many other tribes exist. Those listed above are only the most notable of the ones known to exist.

The cataclysm known as the Crucible of Corruption saw the Arzhel scattered to the wind. The tribes suffered terrible losses due to the warping influence of the evil storm, and many were mutated or killed by the twisted winds of chaotic magic. In only twenty short years, many of the Arzhel people had been lost to this scourge. As the Third Age came to a close, the Arzhel had undergone a total transformation into the diverse and complex culture known today. Scholars believe that the Arzhel will further separate into two distinct social groups, though the cultural lines are not currently clear enough to consider this separation complete.

The Fourth AgeEdit

Into the Fourth Age, the Arzhel have only just begun to recover from the titanic losses suffered as a result of the Crucible of Corruption and the creation of the Wyld. As a people, their culture has survived miraculously, though the elements of the Arzhel that have begun to lean in the direction of the dark gods have gained a considerable amount of political power. Only time will tell which path the Arzhel choose to take.

Chieftain of the Tribe of the Badger, Sigurd Tor, has recently pledged his people to the protection of a small cluster of non-barbarian Human settlements just south of the Crownspire mountain range, and slightly north of the northernmost boundary of Egoras. This pledge of aid and protection is unprecedented in the history of the Arzhel, and many are curious as to what prompted the show of good faith and kindness.

Society and CultureEdit

Arzhel Social StructureEdit

Arzhel society is set up in three organizational tiers.
a. The first and smallest tier is that of an individual and his family. In a family structure; usually consisting of the father, his wife, and any children, the father is the authority figure and is considered entirely in charge of decision making for the family in all respects.
b. The second tier of Arzhel social structure is that of a clan. A clan is comprised of a number of families, often related by blood. In this way, cousins will be bound to cousins in a clan. The authority figure of a clan is the eldest male of sound mind and sound body. Generally, this will also be the most experienced and fiercest warrior, but in some cases this is not true.
c. The third tier of Arzhel society is the tribe. A tribe is comprised of a number of clans, all associated together under the common leadership of a chieftain. Arzhel chieftains who found a new tribe will adopt a totem animal to represent the new tribe, and then attempt to gather clans to his cause.
2. The leadership of a clan or a tribe may be challenged by any adult Arzhel. An adult Arzhel may invoke the Right of Challenge, attempting to claim leadership from the patriarch of a clan or the chieftain of a tribe. To deny an Arzhel warrior this right would anger all of the Arzhel in the group, and possibly from other groups, and ensure the fall of the Arzhel clan leader or chieftain in question.

Family Organization & StructureEdit

The Arzhel family structure is primarily patriarchal. The father makes the decisions and leads the family where necessary. Whenever the family must be represented on a higher level of political or social organization, the father or eldest male will represent them, occasionally with his sons or the next oldest males in the family in tow.
2. While women do not commonly take positions of leadership in Arzhel society, they are treated as essential members of the whole when it comes to maintaining the health and success of the tribe. Women who are pregnant are given special care, and other females (often childless or older women) will serve as midwives, using alchemical remedies to make the process of childbirth easier and less arduous.
3. Arzhel families are occasionally polygamous, where a male will take two or even three wives. In some cases, a male may take more wives than this, but it is an uncommon occurrence since few males can afford such a large family and a man is expected to care for his kin. Polygamy is not the rule however, and many Arzhel families are monogamous.
a. Polygamy as a practice in Arzhel society is not only tolerated, but celebrated. The larger a family, the stronger the family is. Chieftains and clan leaders will often have multiple wives. The head wife will often take a motherly role over the lesser wives (who are often younger). She will often be the one to organize the day to day functions in the household, and delegate responsibility to the other wives. This is not to say that polygamous families are without their problems, as infighting and internal conflicts will occur from time to time.
4. Females can, on rare occasion, take the place of the father or oldest male in a family. This can be done in one of two ways;
a. If the there are no adult males in the group, a capable female may choose to step forward and lead the family. While this happens from time to time, it is more commonly a temporary solution until one of the females in the family can secure a husband who can take leadership of the family.
b. A female may invoke the Right of Challenge. If the female succeeds in her challenge, she may assume leadership of the family, clan or even tribe, and choose to keep it until another challenger takes it from her or she dies. Many Arzhel males will scoff at this, so a female who is successful in gaining control of a family, clan or tribe will be challenged for leadership frequently. If a female fails in her challenge but is not killed, the male she challenged has the right to force her into marriage. She must honor this or she will be forced out of the tribe, and be considered an exile by all Arzhel.

Tribal Organization & StructureEdit

Tribal organization and structure is the height of Arzhel political life. Most Arzhel tribes have been in existence for hundreds of years, some for thousands. Despite this, some ambitious young barbarians will venture out and endeavor to start their own tribe.
a. When a young barbarian decides to take on the role of chieftain, he will seek out a seer or shaman to guide him on a spirit quest to seek a totem animal to represent his new tribe. Sometimes the young man (and very rarely young woman) will be led to take the totem animal of another tribal chieftain. The young usurper will enter the tribe’s camp and challenge the chieftain in order to take his mantle of leadership.
b. Some smaller tribes do not last particularly long, often barely surviving the winter when food is scarce or when they are beset by foes. Despite this hard life, some tribes of Arzhel that have been recently founded have become well established over the years and now enjoy a degree of notoriety.
2. A Tribal chieftain will often handpick a number of skilled warriors, sages, and other advisors from other clans within the tribe, and ask them to join his attendant staff. These are often the most skilled and capable individuals in the tribe, who will lead the entire tribe from the very forefront of a battle.
3. The chieftain of a tribe is essentially the king of his tribe. Usually the warrior of the most skill and experience, and often considered the wisest of the tribe’s members, the chieftain will act as judge in the case of disputes between clans, and his word is considered law amongst the members of the tribe. To dispute the word of the chieftain is to challenge his authority, and for an Arzhel to do so he or she must be prepared to battle him.
4. The religious leadership of a tribe is split between two offices, that of the Gothi and the Vala.
a. Gothi are the primary priesthood of the Arzhel, it is to them that primary religious leadership falls. A Gothi may be male or female depending on the social tenets of the tribe in question. Gothi are commonly practitioners of Nature magic, preferring to call upon the power of Nature itself rather than a specific deity. These priests will lead the tribe in rituals and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation, and will often administer rites ranging from coming-of-age rituals to marriage ceremonies.
b. Vala are generally considered the secondary religious leaders of Arzhel tribes, however they hold a special significance since it is they who lead a tribe in showing reverence to a specific deity. Vala are each dedicated to a specific god, devoting all of their time and attention toward the worship and adulation of one deity. Vala are often skilled ritualists and spellcasters, and regardless of the god they serve they are often held in high esteem by other members of the tribe. Even though their cultural responsibility is commonly less significant, they are given the same amount of respect as the Gothi of a tribe.
c. Gothi are often drawn from the same clan in a tribe over the generations, and usually many of the members of that clan will be practitioners of Nature magic, showing a special aptitude for this kind of spellcasting.
5. While tribes do not often have a formal ranking system to determine the hierarchy of clans within the tribe, the importance of a clan can often be distinguished by examining their personal wealth. The wealthiest clans are often led by skilled warriors who have been able to collect the most valuable spoils of war or by the most talented merchants and tradesmen who are able to generate the wealth through commerce. While this may not always be the case, most tribes do follow this loose system of organization. Even then, it has little to do with the day-to-day functioning of a tribe.
6. The Skalds are essentially the historians of an Arzhel tribe. Comprised of a tribe’s artists, poets and musicians, the tribe’s skalds also serve an important purpose of recording important events and information. In many cases, the skalds of a tribe will be among the only members of a tribe who are able to read. A skald will record important births, deaths, battles, and even disputes between clans.
a. Skalds are often the only practitioners of arcane magic in Arzhel society. Being among the few literate members of a tribe, and often well-travelled, a skald is often considered something of a scholar because of his extensive knowledge of the world outside of the tribe.
b. Skalds can be of any gender, though as with most professions in Arzhel society they are commonly male. There are more than a few notable female skalds, however, and they are generally more well known since their notoriety is often helped along by their rarity.
c. While skalds are primarily artists of some kind, it is not uncommon for a skald to be a warrior of considerable skill and reputation. Since skill at battle is one of the primary ways for any member of Arzhel society to achieve respect and honor, skalds are commonly just as skilled in combat as any other Arzhel.
d. When a new chieftain is crowned for whatever reason skalds of the tribe will often compete for the privilege of recording the deeds and honors of that chieftain, which will ultimately lead to the honor of becoming that chieftain’s herald. A skald who is given then honor of becoming a herald will join the chieftain’s attendant staff and enjoy many luxuries and honors, not the least of which is a certain amount of guaranteed fame as the personal skald and attendant of a great chieftain.

ReligionEdit

The GothiEdit

The Gothi are the primary religious leaders of most Arzhel tribes. Primarily Male, the Gothi are revered by all those within their Tribe, regardless of clan affiliation. Frequently practitioners of Nature magic, the Gothi revere all things in Nature and teach the Tribe to pay respect and homage to all of the Ilith’ari with equal reverence and sincerity. Gothi usually function individually, but will commonly perform their duties with at least one or two apprentices in tow. Gothi apprentices are commonly referred to as Iskar.
b. Apprenticeship to a Gothi requires at least a minimal understanding of Nature Magic in most Tribes, and is a position of considerable respect and honor. Iskar will usually remain in the company of their master, but will occasionally strike out on their own as representatives of their mentor to accomplish small tasks or embark on quests or adventures. Older, more experienced Iskar may even leave for months or years before returning to their master’s side.
c. While Iskar will not commonly leave the Tribe with which they are associated, it is not uncommon for an Iskar to join a different clan that has lost its Gothi, effectively becoming a Gothi himself. This transitional process is usually preceded by a ritual quest undertaken by the Iskar to prove his worthiness as a Gothi.
d. Gothi are responsible for performing the blessing ritual performed on newborn Arzhel that officially includes them as members of the tribe. This ritual, called the Claiming, is part divination and part baptism. The Gothi is presented with an animal for sacrifice by the family of the newborn child. The health, size and type of animal chosen for sacrifice is a direct reflection of the wealth of the family and their desires for the life of the child. The Gothi kills the animal in the appropriate fashion, and then divines some of the child’s destiny with a reading from the animal’s blood. He then marks the child with the sign of her birth and the parents present her name.
e. Gothi also oversee marriage rituals. Acting as moderators during the entire process, though in Arzhel society religion has very little to do with the marriage. At the final steps of the marriage, it is the Gothi that pronounces an Arzhel couple wed.
f. Gothi will also bless tribes before they head off to war. It is a Gothi’s responsibility to read the rune-stones and determine if any conflict is worth engaging in. If the Gothi warns the Chieftain of ill fortune, the Chieftain may still choose to proceed, but does so against the will of the gods. Many Chieftains have failed in this situation, resulting nearly every time in a Rite of Challenge and the Chieftain’s death.

The ValaEdit

Vala are particularly special in an Arzhel tribe, as they provide the tribe with the only direct line of contact with particular deities. Gothi will rarely, if ever, engage in religious dealings with a particular deity, preferring to speak of the Ilith’ari as a whole pantheon rather than dealing with any of them individually. Vala, on the other hand, are priests and priestesses of specific deities and revel in the opportunity to call upon their god to aid their tribe.
b. On rare occasions in history, a Vala has taken leadership of a tribe. This will often lead to a schism from within the tribe as the proponents of other faiths will attempt to prevent the Vala from gaining any real power. When the Vala is able to succeed at gaining more complete control of the Tribe, the Tribe will adopt many of the viewpoints of the Vala in question. While not all tribes with significant religious leanings are considered radical, many are. The tribe of the Black Bear and the tribe of the Red Bear are the most notable examples, having been led by Vala among them into the worship of Xi’rian.
c. Vala are often called to the worship of a deity while they are still young. In most cases, they will receive a vision or portent and feel compelled to discover more about the deity that has called to them. Often, this will result in a potential Vala leaving her tribe for some time, only to return months or even years later having found the path of her god and a newfound passion for spreading the message of that deity.
d. When it is believed that a specific deity must be appeased, or a specific need requires a specific deity’s aid, the appropriate Vala will be sought out to help. Vala are fiercely loyal to their patron, but also fiercely loyal to their tribe, and will do anything to garner the support of their god for their people. In this fashion, Arzhel tribes can be seen by outsiders to follow the demands of a variety of gods without adhering solely to the wishes of one god.
e. In some of the larger tribes, there can be more than one Vala of a single god. In this situation, they will often band together to worship and work alongside one another. In the case of tribes that have committed themselves solely to the worship of one god, Vala of other gods will be given one opportunity to forsake their patron or leave the tribe. Failure to do so will result in death unless the Vala in question can stage a coup.<br ===Rituals===

MarriageEdit

In Arzhel society, marriages decided based on the notoriety of the groom and the assigned value of the bride as a mate. A male Arzhel will choose a mate from a distance, and admire her from afar. He will then approach her family with an offering of some material value and ask for her hand in marriage. If her family accepts, the Arzhel man may then approach the woman himself. His goal is to convince her to marry him. The methods used to accomplish this goal vary widely from individual to individual and tribe to tribe. Most commonly the man will attempt gifts, displays of martial prowess or skill, or even coercion through trickery. It is not unheard of for an Arzhel man to attempt to simple “take” his bride against her wishes, though on occasion this will end poorly for him since Arzhel women are not easily abused.
b. Once the Arzhel man has convinced a woman to be his bride, the Gothi begins the official marriage ceremony. The marriage ceremony itself is simple; the man’s family (or adopted family if he does not have one) will offer a gift of some kind to the woman’s family, usually weapons, armor or other military equipment. The woman’s family will offer a gift of some kind to the man’s family, usually food, clothing, or tools. Once this exchange is complete, each family spokesperson will take it in turns to announce the newfound friendship between the families to the tribe. Following this, a night of drinking, song, and competitions of strength and skill follow. These celebrations are sponsored by both families, who will often try to outdo each other with the lavishness of their contributions to the celebration. Once the celebration is complete, the bride and groom will stand before the Gothi and pronounce their devotion. The Gothi will then declare them wed, and they will head to the home of the man to consummate their marriage. If the two newlyweds revere the same deity, a Vala of the deity will often be present to give them a final blessing.
c. Inter-tribal marriage is not uncommon, as men from other tribes will find they desire a woman from a neighboring tribe during inter-tribal gatherings and other social events. Sometimes this will even occur during skirmishes or other conflicts. When this does happen, it is the man’s duty to approach the Gothi of the tribe to seek an audience with the woman’s father or patriarch. If the Gothi agrees, it is then up to the father to allow the man to court his daughter. In general this is a simple case of the man providing an appropriate gift to the family, though in some cases, the family may request the man perform some extraordinary task or another. The tale of Geir Torkill and his pursuit of Ragnhild Aagard, the beautiful daughter of an enemy chieftain details one such encounter. In order to gain the right to take Ragnhild’s hand in marriage, Geir was charged to slay a Roc, a giant winged beast of the northlands. In the most extreme cases, a man may be charged to do something similarly heroic, or foolish, in order to gain the hand of the woman he pursues.
d. Homosexual unions are generally not practiced in Arzhel society, though in very rare cases, same-sex couples will be recognized as a familial unit if they have proven their worth as a couple to the tribe and the community.
e. Premarital sexual relations are generally forbidden, but the culture only finds fault with either party if a child is conceived. The culture as a whole tends to take a disinterested view if two unmarried youths engage in consensual premarital sexual relations, as long as no child is produced as a result.

Coming-of-AgeEdit

Coming of age rituals in Arzhel society vary slightly depending on the gender of the individual in question. Males undergo a different coming of age ritual than females, but both rituals are intended to determine if the individual will be a boon or a burden to their tribe.
b. Males in Arzhel society are required to hunt and kill a beast to bring back to the tribe, and the young males are charged to bring home a beast that will at least feed his family. The type of beast they hunt and kill goes a long way to determine their first place in society. The more dangerous or coveted the beast in question, the more prestige and honor for the Arzhel who slays it. Because of this, young Arzhel who are embarking on their coming of age ritual will often seek to slay some of the most dangerous beasts of the lands surrounding their home. Suffice it to say that the mortality rate in such situations is particularly high. Arzhel men who embark on their first hunt are allowed to take whatever items with them that they can carry. They are permitted to hunt for ten days. If they do not return after that period, some tribes will send out a small party to search for the young one, while others will simple declare him dead.
c. Females in Arzhel society are required to give something of value to their tribe as a representation of passing from a child to an adult. This item can be anything of value, from a hand-crafted item to some type of meal. In general, Arzhel culture frowns on women engaging in the coming of age rituals normally reserved to men, though there are legends of female heroes doing just that to prove their exceptional leanings. Females will often work on this “project” for months before their coming of age ritual is officially underway to ensure that it is suitably significant. The tribe’s First Mother will often aid young women in this process, and oversee their endeavors.
d. Coming of age for the Arzhel occurs around the age of 16 years. Once the ritual is complete, the child is considered an adult and is expected to contribute to the tribe on a more significant basis. At this point, they are allowed to continue living in the same abode as their parents, but are expected to begin providing for themselves when they are finally able, or find a spouse.
e. When the coming of age ritual is nearing completion the Gothi of the tribe will bless the Arzhel youth, consecrating them as an adult. This is a simple ritual, where the youth is presented to the tribe as a whole and their accomplishment announced to the whole community. From this point forward, the youth is considered an adult and the tribe will treat them with the appropriate amount of respect.

BirthEdit

The process of birth in Arzhel society is lengthy and begins shortly after conception. Each tribe has a First Mother, a woman of experience and skill chosen by the tribe’s Gothi. In some rare cases, this may be the Gothi herself. The First Mother is expected to serve many purposes, but above them all is the function of acting as a midwife for the expecting mothers in the tribe. Guiding each woman through the days before the birth, she ensures they eat well and do not become sedentary while they await the arrival of their child.
b. When the day of the birth approaches, all of the women in the expecting mother’s immediate family will gather around her to assist in day-to-day tasks and provide emotional support and comfort. It is common for the males of the family to spend this time away hunting, camped nearby awaiting word of the child’s birth.
c. The Gothi of the tribe will read the stars and divine the child’s path in life. Most commonly, the child’s parents will choose a name for her during this period, usually in reflection of the future forseen by the Gothi.

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