Ocia

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Some would consider Ocia to be made up of two people.  Those that dwell in the grasslands, and those that dwell in the swamp.  While there are cultural differences between them, they are all ruled by the same king and queen and consider themselves one people.
The swamp dwellers are hunters and gatherers, living in small, semi-nomadic towns that are made up of barges.  The people of the grasslands have actual towns and villages, and lead more settled lives with farms and livestock.  The lives of both peoples seem to center around the river and its tributaries, and they trade up and down the waterways via poled rafts.

They are dark skinned, and both the men and women wear their hair long and braided.  Face paint is common among both genders, but the women wear brighter and more intricate patterns.  Certain patterns indicate status, such as whether a woman is looking for marriage.  Marriage in Ocia is a very formal affair, with many courtship rituals and a long engagement period.  It’s not uncommon for a couple to have multiple children together before they are finally wed, and there is no such thing as divorce.  A couple joined is together in this life and the next.

Ocia does not have gods, but each person has a totem or animal spirit with which they identify, and that animal spirit is their link and guide between this world and the other world to which they journey after death.  The village shaman gives a child their totem upon that child’s first birthday.

Names are strange in Ocia.  A child has a name when born, usually a very short, single syllable name, then is given a name by their totem on their first birthday.  They gain an additional name upon reaching puberty, and then pick a name for themselves upon reaching adulthood.  Married couples aid their spouses totem name to their own totem name.  Additionally, Ocia can be given what are called ‘legend names’ by their shaman, related to either some trait of theirs or a deed they have accomplished.  Introductions are thus usually long and careful affairs, because getting an Ocian’s name wrong is considered very insulting.  However, once introductions are made, most Ocia go by their most recently acquired name save in the case of legend names.  If a person’s adult name is Kiran, they would go by Kiran, but if they had a legend name they might go by Kiran Whitespear.  His full name might be Jai Mahesh-Aarti Nirav Kiran Whitespear.

They value combat ability, but tricksters hold a special place in their hearts.  A person who can fight is respected, but a person who can avoid fighting by being clever is to be admired.  A person who can trick their opponent into becoming an ally or defeating themselves is legendary.  They are also known for their sense of humor, and the best way to tell if an Ocian is your friend is if they start playing pranks on you.  Being able to take a joke is a good way to earn their respect, but being able to turn it back on the one who made it is even better.

Ocia has it’s own language, both written and spoken.  Those that trade usually speak the ‘common tongue’.

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