Human Culturally Significant Items

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Tall Armored Boots

So tall as to cover the majority of the wearer's legs, this style of armored boot is often worn by Humans over non-armored pants or leggings with an armored tabard, lorica, or half plate. This particularly Human style of leg armor was especially popular during the reign of Caduan Chelochi in Zoluren.

Morawen

Gamgweth word for 'harness'. When used in an item name, it is referring to a specific style of weapon harness of Human origin. Traditionally, a morawen has a double cross-body design, and allows for two weapons to be held on it near the wearer's hips via a system of angled leather loops or attached metal frogs. The weapons remain clearly visible, and both are able to be drawn from the morawen at the same time.

Styles of morawen that allow for the storage of up to eight weapons are thought to have been popular in portions of the Empire of the Seven-Pointed Star during its latter years, though literature from the time seems to associate these with a cultural fad wherein decorative weapons were displayed to indicate wealth, more than any practical purpose.

Raekhlo

Gamgweth word for 'scabbard'. When used in an item name, it is referring to a specific type of weapon belt of Human origin that has only the frog portion of a scabbard attached to it, sometimes in multiples so as to allow several weapons to be secured to it at once. A raekhlo at its most simple is a wide leather belt with a metal frog attached so that the stored weapon will be held just to the back of the wearer's hip and the blade angled slightly backward.

It is thought that, historically, raekhlo was the early Gamgweth word for all types of belt-like or belt-attached weapon holding items which allowed for ease of access to the wielder, and that the meaning and popular usage morphed significantly over time as styles of battle and fashion changed. In modern times, these 'scabbards' are sometimes very similar in function to a morawen despite their cosmetic differences, in that they are frequently made to allow for two weapons to be drawn at once.

Mivamaen

From the Gamgweth words 'mivar' (know) and 'ama' (me). Facial jewelry as a cultural tradition amongst Humans dates back to at least the very early pre-Empire days, though surviving records indicate that the practice fell out of favor with more cosmopolitan Humans sometime during the latter portions of the Seven Star Empire, and remained a little known cultural footnote prior to its reintroduction to popular fashion in 417 by the Human cultural historian Zelka.

Mainly consisting of piercings worn around one or both of the eyes, though sometimes with chains that attach to another stud or ring at the top of the wearer’s closest ear, the design of Human facial jewelry is delineated by a particularly complex set of customs that often had differences in meaning between those living in various areas -- some subtle, some dramatic -- and is used to display particularly important and deeply personal information about the wearer, their family and/or their Clan.

Though both the aforementioned regional and personal differences in particular pieces of symbolism and changes in the tradition over time and exposure to other cultures make fully understanding the meaning behind any single piece of traditional Human facial jewelry a daunting task for anyone but its creator, certain near-constants have been identified by Zelka in her research.


Eye placement:

Pieces worn primarily around the left eye indicate that the wearer is unmarried, while those situated around the wearer’s right eye indicate marriage. Those created to be worn around both eyes are an indication of refusal to marry and disinterest in entertaining the idea, either as a statement of being in mourning for a lost spouse or as a personal dedication to remain single for some other, generally religious, reason. The oldest uncovered designs of these were interlocking rings for women and multiple small spikes for men, often with seasonal themes.


Materials:

  • Iron - steadfastness, loyalty, protection, strength
  • Gold - quick temper or changeable nature, fierceness, desire to be noticed
  • Silver - wisdom, peace, tireless work without need for recognition
  • Clear quartz crystal - winter, endings and beginnings, potential yet to be shown
  • Green jade - spring, parenthood, caretaking or teaching
  • Golden amber - fall, even-tempered nature, looking to the past, mourning
  • White coral - summer, carefree or generous nature, fragility of life

Ghironda

Also known as "the lyre of the pasture", the ghironda is a string instrument of Human origin that is shaped somewhat like a lute or viol, but whose strings are put in vibration not by a bow but by a rotating rosined wheel operated by a handle at the lower end of the body. It has two to four unfingered bass strings that are allowed to sound continuously, producing a drone harmony, and two melody strings running over the fingerboard, which are stopped by tangents connected with a keyboard.

The ghironda is often used as a street musician's instrument and has its origins in the Harvest Clan, where it was developed as a conscious alternative to instruments that had more martial origins.

Duduk

The body of this wind instrument is slender and slightly longer than a handspan, and musicians agree that it should properly be carved from a hard wood such as apricot. The mouth features an unusually wide double-reed, and it requires great skill to master the specialized breathing technique that produces the instrument's distinctive sound -- which is often described as being as sweet and as powerful as the short lives of the Humans from whom it originated -- said to evoke feelings of wistful melancholy as easily as it does those of profound joy or sorrow. Older duduks are quite simple in design and were often left entirely undecorated save for the choice of stain (if any). More modern versions display decoration generally centered upon the upper portion of the mouth piece, which is often shaped into fanciful or metaphorically pleasing abstract forms such as tiered droplets, though intricate carving and inlay upon the body can at times be seen as well.

Originally created by Human soldiers as a simple way to pass the time while marching or resting on campaign during the Resistance War, the duduk has since evolved considerably. It quickly spread throughout the mainland, carried wherever a Human mercenary or soldier could be found, and, as the design and play styles matured, became a beacon of beauty even amongst the horrors of war. Today, the duduk is an instrument of comfort, inspiration and profound emotional weight in the hands of an experienced player.

Marimba

This percussion instrument of Human design consists of a number of wooden plates of different size and thickness, underneath which are placed resonators made from gourds. It is played with felt-headed mallets, and creates a range of tonal effects that allows for a skilled musician to display significant variety in the resultant music.

Said to perhaps be one of the oldest of Human instruments, the marimba has its roots in the farthest history of the race, in its origins in the West and its migration to the East, along with the Olvi, long predating those of the Prydaen and Rakash. Stories tell of older, larger versions that were crafted for as many as five musicians playing in concert upon them with such grace and precision as to become a performance unto itself, wrought both of the body of the performer and the instrument. Examples of such have yet to be uncovered, however, nor, sadly, have they been reconstructed with any true success.