Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Humanities of the Razanians

Architecture - Most buildings and bridges are wooden, often exquisitely carved. Reproductions of animals and people comprise most of the decorative work, along with a newly developing stylized form. This new form involves snake-like lines, forking and returning, in intricate circular and wave patterns. Stone construction is common as well (castles, town walls, larger buildings), though rarely decorated. Typically wood carvings are added to the stone for desired decoration.

Clothing - The great majority of clothing is fabricated from tanned hides or cloth made from the fibers of a tough green and yellow plant (Thysle) found all along the Mountains of the Rim. Another plant-originated textile is available, but as yet it cannot be made very comfortable, being too harsh on the skin.
Provisors of the Church Empyrean typically wear a small bluish frock, and University graduates often put a green wrap around one ankle. Kings and lords are obvious because their retainers wear yellow while they wear a dark brown. Farnor is the one kingdom in which a larger variety of color is coming into more common use.

Crafts (small scale) - Hand-held carvings, constructions, and toys are very popular, and the Razanian people are accomplished in the production of such. Examples of pre-Ash carvings are still found in most towns, having survived the Mir occupation due to their size and the ease with which they could be hidden.

Crafts (larger scale) - Rarely found other than architectural work. Most of it was destroyed during the Shadow Years and the Ash, and the skills were lost as well.

Education - Education is considered very highly by the Razanians, and tutors are well-respected. Children are taught more than one language, and are instructed in Razanian history. Those few who show an aptitude for more scholarly work are sent to their king or lord, the Church Empyrean, the University in Sout, or to another kingdom (always with the understanding that they will return when their studies are completed). Those with an aptitude for a craft or a particularly practical skill (such as engineering) are apprenticed or sent to the University.

Literacy - Though education is esteemed, literacy is not valued highly. This may be partly due to the introduction of literacy coming in the shadow of Mir. Whatever the cause, a huge part of the society is illiterate, though the people may speak many languages. Storytelling and oral history are still the primary fonts of knowledge, with the written word being used mostly by the Church, record keepers, the University, and some rare skilled workers who wish to preserve a skill intact. Even treasurers need not be very literate, as a barter system is in use (no need to convert currency or track credit).

Visual Arts - Conflicts embed themselves in the arts as well as most other parts of Razanian society. The themes of Unity and Independence are often depicted at odds, as are the themes of Stasis and Motion. Art as a depiction or creation of beauty is as prevalent as theme-based art, and considered just as valuable. There are very few full-time artists, most working at other activities during the day and producing their art at night.

Performance - Dance is considered a folk activity for celebration, rather than a performance activity. Music is popular, particularly singing and producing rhythms (against anything available). Music is most often improvised, at least partially. A group of eight or nine musicians trained in the style can create some amazing polyphonous works. There are a few tonal instruments as well, one being something like a xylophone, one made of thin bones that are sounded by pulling a carved branch over them, and one that consists of two thin pieces of wood held together and blown through. Drama in performance is mostly exhibited by storytellers who act out the roles of various characters, including the audience whenever possible.