View Full Version : [09.4] Jin Culture

Alrik Sterlyn
06-22-2009, 10:28 PM
Family: The family like the society is built on a maternal structure, so a house will consist of a matron at its head: a mother, grandmother or even great-grandmother and each of the first daughters and their mates if they are bonded and their children; so that each child of the Jin is raised within a home of multiple generations of women to share with them their wisdom. In addition the entire tribe will help to raise every child and treat them like they are their own.

While the place of male and female is held fairly equally in the society the daughter is considered the true inheritor of the line. A direct line can be made in maternal blood inheritance but a man can never truly know if a child is his own, making maternal bloodlines more assured then male.

The birth of a daughter is a sign of strength and prosperity for the family; and the birth of the first daughter in a family is celebrated by the whole tribe. The birth of a son is the sign of good hunts and fortune on the horizon.

Instead of marriage the Jin practice a ceremony that translates as bonding, kal’if, where two people pledge their souls to each other in this life and beyond before a congregation of their tribe. Being bonded is not taken lightly by a tribe; the bond can never be broken once it is set in place, not even by death or distance. Though a couple may grow to not be able to stand one another the kal’if bonds them even when they seek out new partners and families.

Naming: Children take the name of their mother as their surname; so the child of Sparrow Linea will become Saia Sparrow in honor and respect of her mother and Saia’s child will likewise take the name of Saia onto herself.

A name is considered the first sacred rite of a newborn child. The naming of a child does not occur until the first anniversary of their birth. This is because the Jin name their children with their destiny. And as part of the burden of family to take up the mothers name is to continue her destiny. To have your surname taken away or to sever yourself from yourself from it is the greatest insult to the Jin. It is to separate all ties to family and leave one wandering on their own in the eyes of fate.

Society: The Jin believe that spirits are in everything and pray to them before hunting an animal, harvesting food, or chopping down a tree. This philosophy has shaped the way in which they live. Their homes are set in the trees above the forest floor to try to keep predators out of their villages. Homes are typically centered in the giant baobab trees and linked by a series of wood and hemp bridges that connect every building in a tribal cluster. These homes are complex and beautiful in their simplicity sometimes reaching three and four stories up the trunk of a tree and consisting of multiple rooms with different purposes. Below the tree houses on the forest floor the Jin harvest vegetables and collect fruit from the trees. They have uses for nearly everything in the jungle: from an anesthetic made from a small tough green spiky plant to glue from the sap of a tree.

Civics: The society is run much the same way as the family with a matron or patron at the head and a system of meritocracy. Each tribal area has a leader; this head is called the Ai’ia. A council of elders, the Eldes’ia, consisting of the most age-weary and wisest of the Jin, they meet to decide who has shown the greatest attributes of a strong leader to be the Matron/Patron of the people. The position is neither permanent nor term limited; a Matron may serve for life or days depending on the decision of the Eldes’ia as to their fitness to lead. The Ai’ia is always supposed to be the best person to lead at the time.

The council of Eldes’ia is made up of the eight wisest of the tribes and each member is selected by the others. While there are as many Ai’ia as there are tribal communities on Glodhet; there is only one council of Eldes’ia. They are the highest authority and last word.

There are four tribal territories on the island with Ai’ia’s: Kalia’da (Ai’ia Sparrow Linea), Da’neega, Gali’da, Co’da. Each of these four territories has a main city and outlying tribes under its authority. Kalia’da is the largest of the traditional tribes; it is the spiritual center of the Jin and is the home to the Eldes’ia. Co’da is the most modern of territories; containing the port it sees the most influx of eboni through its lands and is the only area where stone buildings can be found. House Reston is the only permanent non-Jin residence on the island; the family was welcomed to the island with much trepidation but have settled into life on the island well and in the last decade have become more and more respected if not ignored by the Jin.

Economy: Due to its tropical climate and dense jungles the land of the Jin is best suited to producing the native fruits of the island and the silk and furs of the creatures who live in it. Silk is the greatest export of the Jin as their island is the only place where such fine quality can be found. Their next greatest export is precious gems and stones. Due to the pressure of the dormant volcanoes diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and other clear and semi-clear precious stones can be found in the shadows of the mountains.

The Jin have a trade surplus with the eboni. While they import tools, ale, wine, and anything else that suits their fancy they care for little of the processed creations of the eboni and the goods they export are worth far more and in far greater quantity making them a rich nation if they so chose to be. Because of this the eboni coin is devalued on the island; so that an eboni man or woman who came to the island would find their money was worth half and sometimes nearly a third of what they were used to at home. This is often discouraging to travelers to visit the Jin; and the Jin have no worries in discouraging the tourism.

Spirituality/Religion: The Jin believe that everything that is, is the creation and embodiment of spirit (Sin). There are 637 original or named spirits but there are countless spirits in and around everything. In times of great stress, it is said, that the Sin may appear before a person to guide and protect them.

The most prominent spirit in the Jin philosophy is Kal, or soul. Kal is the collective spirit; every living being (human, animal, or plant) contains Kal to varying degrees and wavelengths. A good person who has done many heroic and fantastical things is said to contain much Kal within their being. The Kal’if, the bonding between two people, is done when two people find they have the same Kal within each other.

Language: The Jin language is made up of 637 written characters corresponding to syllabic words (for example: Jin, Ia, Ai, Kal, etc.) which each have their individual meaning. These 637 characters are then added together to create more complex words (Jin’ia – people of the land, Kal’if – bonding, Eboni is an irregular noun that contains three modified characters that separately mean land, stranger, and other). In the spirituality of the Jin the 637 characters in the language each represent one of the 637 named spirits.

Jin (gin) – people
Ia (E-ah)– land
Ai (eye)– leader
Eldes (EL-dess) - eldest
Eboni (EH-bo-nee) – outsiders; people in the outlying lands, not Jin
Kal’if (KAL-eef) – the bonding practice performed by the Jin’ia that is their version of marriage, or the tying of two souls together for eternity.
If (eef) – one
Kal – soul
Sa (sai) – heart
Sin – spirit
Da – tribe

[credit: Devi]