Nexx Adrani cocked his head to the side, examining the piece of ceramic plate. The accidental D-Rift that had stranded Banja City in the Alpha Quadrant proved to be beneficial in many ways. Here he examined the remains of a strange race of pointed eared, green blooded people that seem to have left an ancient galactic empire somewhere in this spiral arm.|
"Whaddya think, Nexx?" asked the Human archeologist next to him. "What do you think it was used for?"
"Who cares! My question is, who made it?"
"What do you mean who cares, Nexx, don?t you want to know what it was used for?" asked the Human again, perplexed at his answer.
"Nope." Said Nexx, smiling as he turned the fragment over his fingers and back.
Whyaati psychology could easily be compared to a Human in many ways. As a race, they embrace the things that make them Whyaati. Because of this, they tend to take a humanistic and holistic approach to the universe, and they do not suppress their emotions. Most Humans would say that Whyaati have great joie d? vivre.
This lust for life comes from the situations that the Whyaati people have suffered through. Their homeworld has been destroyed and their people scattered to the four winds. They were at one time deceived by "Sky Devils," who almost destroyed them. The are constantly hunted by the Borg as if they have a special place in the halls of the assimilated.
The Whyaati, because of these constant dangers, band together easily and follow "The Path of Whyaati'Da", or the Way of the People. The tenets of Whyaati'Da are complex, but seem totally natural to its followers. To Whyaati, no other way seems quite right.
"Nexx?Ja"- Joie d'Vivre.
The first and most important tenet of Whyaati?Da is "Joie D' Vivre", in Federation Standard. In Whyaati it is simply known as "Nexx'Ja". Because of the ever-present perils in their lives, the Whyaati have what some might call a cavalier and some might call a courageous lifestyle. From the day that they are indoctrinated into school, Whyaati children are taught that when Death smiles at you, all you can do is smile back.
Whyaati pastimes are spent with family and friends as often as possible. After all, you don?t know when they will finally meet their end. Even Whyaati funerals defy Death by celebrating the dead?s life instead of focusing on their absence.
The second tenet modifies all the tenets. Emotions and love must not be suppressed, but there is a point that they must be left at the door when they will lead to darker actions and dangerous methods. The Whyaati fully believe in the concepts of fidelity and are careful not to take their pleasures out so far that they become a perversion. Just as a Whyaati may lust after someone, the tenets of Temperance state that one must not ever force that lust upon someone.
Temperance gives Whyaati the chance to "think" on their emotions. It is taught that the temperance of an emotion can itself be bliss. By this tenet, Whyaati are taught that there is a time and place for excess. Excess, in many ways, must be earned. Work hard, play hard is the old Human saying.
Service in support of something greater than yourself. Whyaati are taught in a holistic manner. The one must help build the many. United we stand, divided we fall. All of these are concepts in the Tenets of Service. Whyaati are taught that to give your life or service in the name of bettering your people is the most honorable, selfless thing someone can do. The various Whyaati religions promise a paradise of excess and enlightenment should a Whyaati die for his people. A dedication to the Service Tenet is actually considered extremely sexy!
Suffering is universal. As soon as you learn that, you gain enlightenment. No one is so unique in the universe that they are more important than any other. This is a common belief. Whyaati believe in reciprocity. If you help someone, even by sympathizing with them, then it?ll reward you sometime soon. Do what you can to help someone who is down. Charity is a big part of the Tenet of Campassion.
Almost every Whyaati takes this tenet to heart and soul. 90% of Whyaati take the Oath of Truth by their Numaxnos. Whyaati are taught that lying to a fellow Whyaati, or anyone worthy of your trust is a foul and cruel deed. It is possible for a Whyaati to lie, but only when it will save others or benefit a noble cause. Rather than lie to an enemy, most Whyaati will simply remain silent. However, if deception will save lives, they?ll use it. Usually after the deception, the deceiver seeks out a Mystic and has him exact a penance (usually a short fast and meditation on why they lied).
There is enough evil in the universe, so be a champion of the victims and innocents. Many Whyaati see this as the tenet that makes them the default police of the universe. This accounts for the abnormally large number of Bounty Hunters and the unique ?Bounty Runners? (independent runner groups) in the Whyaati civilization.
"Da-Kala" - Humanism
Because of the Totem Call Movement and its Seclusion, the Whyaati have been taught to "think" in very holistic ways. They focus on the larger group and larger situation. To this is added what a Human might refer to as "Humanistic". To the Whyaati, a Shakespeare and a Milton is just as important, if not more so, than an Einstein or a Newton.
Whyaati are taught to see the world through the eyes of civilization first, and the machine second. A Whyaati cares less if a star is going to go nova than if a civilization will be wiped out by it. They don?t want to know why something was built, they want to know who built it.
One cannot learn without asking questions. This is the base of this tenet?s metaphorical pillar. Whyaati are notoriously curious and inquisitive about most things. Their society teaches them to guard secrets well and only by asking questions can someone gain enlightenment.
The Whyaati do realize that there is a boundary. Some secrets are too dangerous, too personal, et cetera, to know and will usually draw the line. To a Terran, a Whyaati may seem a bit nosey. A Bolian would find this refreshing.
The Whyaati have a plethora or methods to greet each others, very much like Humans do. These greetings depend largely upon the Caste. The Religious caste usually kisses. Whether a kiss is placed on the lips, cheeks or forehead depends on the familiarity and status between the greeters. The "Cheek Kiss" is primarily diplomatic and is used between strangers. The "Head Kiss" is used by an older or more revered person towards a younger or less experienced person. The "Lip Kiss" is used between family and friends.
The Military Caste perhaps has the most meaning put into their greetings. Between strangers (or enemies) one draws your weapon and touches it to your forehead. This symbolizes a show of strength and spells out exactly what the greeters could do to each other. Between colleagues and friends, the Military grasps both arms just below the elbow with both hands.
The Guilded Caste is perhaps the most informal. Between strangers, they grasp one forearm below the elbow and shake. Between friends and lovers, a cheek or lip kiss will do just fine.
Jaradoi stared in frustration at his fathers and mothers, crossing his arms over his chest like a brooding child.|
"I want to marry her," Jaradoi protested angrily. His Prime Father extended his hand and clasped it on his sons shoulder.
"Jaradoi, you have not yet begun your Walk About. Neeka has entered society already. She is bani Teynar. You are bani Tennedar. Its just not in the cards, my son."
Jaradoi stomped his foot and turned away from his parents, moving swiftly from the room. Yerri, the mother of Jaradoi, clasped her husbands hand and leaned her head upon his shoulder.
"What am I going to do with that boy?" Asked the aging father. Yerri shrugged.
"Hes bani Tennedar. The Dreamers Caste. What else do you expect of him?"
Whyaati society is very complex and might seem quite alien to someone from the Federation. Many of these alien features have been bred from necessity. For example, the Whyaati, in the beginning, had to pool resources and space, so they created two couple joinings. Over time, the Whyaati chose to make this quadrupling romantic. After all, you should love those that you intend to spend your life with. Other feautures seem silly or outdated to outsiders. The Whyaati, however, see them as necessary and would never part from their heritage, especially now, when their very culture is being threatened.
The Caste System
All Whyaati are tenuously tied to one of three castes that have relatively equal power balances when compared to the other castes. These castes are not strictly enforced nowadays but do maintain the majority of power in their fields. All three have equal representation on the Triumvirate and in the Triadic Houses. The Castes are the following:
Religious, also known as bani Teynar.
Military, also known as bani Evore.
Guilded, also known as bani Tennedar, or Dreamers.
The Religious Caste is primarily concerned with the population from a holistic and humanist approach. It has long been concerned over the people?s moral and ethical roots. Those of the Religious Caste are often teachers, lawyers, doctors and similar caretaking occupations. Their primary color is royal blue. Almost every member of the Religious Caste strips and dyes a space in front of their hair a metallic gold. Senatorials and the Religious Triumvirate member wears a lengthy robe.
The Military Caste is primarily concerned with matters of defense. They are considered to be the most ambitious and politically minded. In their private circle, Military Caste members practice an almost Byzantine form of government. The Military Caste makes up the bulk of the Defense and Expeditionary Forces. The stereotype of a brutal, dumb-witted soldier does not usually apply when an opinion is formed about the Military Caste. The defenders of the Whyaati are considered valiant heroes and extremely moral people. The Whyaati Military takes only the most intelligent people usually. Most citizens and civilians maintain a vote of complete trust for this Caste. Their primary color is purple. The Senatorials and Triumvirate members wear baggy pants and tightly fitting shirts. People of this caste often strip and dye a segment of their hair silver.
The Guilded Caste is made up of the rest of society. These are the craftsmen, traders, engineers, industrialists and commercialists of society. The Guilded maintain a much more liberal and democratic ideal than the slightly more conservative Military and Religious Castes. They tend to wear forest green and dye a strip of their hair a coppery color. Most wear tank tops or short shirts and pants.
The Social Structure of the Whyaati hardly ends at the Casteline. Members of individual castes are encouraged to marry into the caste, but are hardly required to. Those who are born to split caste families ?declare? a Caste at the age of majority, sixteen (16).
Outsiders in the Whyaati Caste
Outsiders, (read: those other races in the Haven of Species), are not bound by the already loose laws of the Whyaati Caste System. Any Outsider is judged on an individual basis. A Whyaati might refer to an industrial Brunali as bani Tennedar, but this is very much like slang.
Citizenship and Civilianship
It is interesting to note that the Whyaati recognize a difference between Citizen and Civilian. As a society that is based upon the continual testing of its people, and their people?s merits, the Whyaati, in their eyes, must ?earn? Citizenship. A Civilian has a few less rights than the Citizen. A Civilian has little rights inside of the political sphere. They do maintain the major rights of Freedoms of Speech, Silence, Self-Determination, Protection, Press, Vocation and Privacy. A "Citizen" is a proven character and is given all the rights and privileges of another Citizen. There is little stigma attached to being a Civilian, although Citizens usually encourage Civilians to become Citizens.
Gender Roles and the "Third Gender"
Many Alpha Quadrant cultures once recognized the the sexes had their own vocations in which to excel at. Whyaati culture too has this, but also possesses a sort of ?third? gender. The Third Gender, or Changing Ones, is allowed to practice the opposite sex?s vocations. There is no stigma attached to this action. In earlier days, these people were seen as important intermediaries.
The gender lines of the Whyaati were never as sharply defined as say in Human culture. Whyaati females and males are both physically and mentally very similar. There were periods of time when both sexes tended to dominate the society?s public face, however. Usually, it was female or Changing One, but in the modern day, it is startlingly equal.
The genders are usually called the following:
-Masanai. Changing One (although technically Male or Female).
Children of Whyaati families tend to be small- four or five kids. Whyaati pay closest attention to their immediate parents and their offspring. This creates an unusual relationship. A childs ?grandparents? have some impact on the children, much like a family friend might. Parents dote on their offspring and in turn, children are expected to revere their parents.
Early Life and Education
Children are encouraged to think in an independent fashion at a very early age and thus, most Whyaati are both independent and resourceful. To this idea of independence is appended the ideals of service and devotion to the society as a whole.
Whyaati children are first taught in a Humanistic way, then Mechanistic. They are taught why things happen and are educated in the bigger impact before they are schooled in the intricacies of something. They are taught, for example, to care more about how a star going nova will effect anything in the system and less about why the star is going nova.
Children are also taught to be remarkably perceptive, both in mood and in overt traces. Whyaati culture and language relishes in the subtle means of communication. There is also nothing more appealing to a Whyaati than a good mystery. Some might call this "nosey", but without the negative connotations. Whyaati are also excellent secret keepers. A secret revealed to another is considered a very intimate experience and conveys a high level of trust.
Whyaati, from the beginning, learn that lying and dishonesty are not worthwhile pursuits. Most (92%) of Whyaati take the Oath of Truth by Age 14, swearing that they will never lie to one that they respect and trust. A Whyaati CAN lie to an enemy or simply keep quiet, but most feel "dirty" afterward and usually have a priest exact a small penance on them (usually a fast or mild physical punishment). At the age of twelve (12), a young Whyaati will go through his Numaxnos, or Formal Naming and the Rite of Apprenticeship. (see Rites)
The Whyaati children are given a very broad humanistic education until about age twelve (12). By twelve, the Whyaati is considered to be a Numax, a Young Adult. The Whyaati recognize the same activities and stipulations that Humans see in their adolescents. The ?troubled teen? exists in Whyaati culture as well.
Sexually, a Whyaati begins to develop the ability to reproduce for the first time. Whyaati do not maintain an active reproductive ability throughout life. Females and Males both go into ?heat? and feel a strong desire to bond, at least sexually. Instead of practicing with another, Whyaati at First Chance are driven to explore themselves. A great deal of Whyaati culture around eleven or twelve is devoted to understanding their hormones, sexuality and biology.
Once a Whyaati passes twelve, his sexual drive diminishes into that of a typical teen and he begins school and education in his chosen trade. At this time, a Whyaati goes through their Rite of Apprenticeship. He is required to seek out a mentor who will educate the early adult in his future vocation. They are granted the full rights of a Civilian and must select a vocation or goal by which the next four years of their lives are devoted to.
At sixteen (16), the Whyaati has completed his basic vocational education. At this stage, they go through the Rite of Ascension. For the next six years, the Whyaati is continually trained and tested by his master. At the end of this time, the Whyaati can take the Rite of Citizenship and attain full member status, if they pass their test.
Adult Life and Joining
Most Whyaati at this point will begin work in their established vocation of choice. During these first view years, the Whyaati often becomes a Jenova or Journeyman. He is expected to see as much of the universe as he possibly can before returning home. The Whyaati call this couple years a Walk About.
After the Walk About, most families encourage their offspring to try to couple. The Second Chance occurs at about 22-24. Mentors, friends and old flings often try to pair up individual Whyaati.
Once a Whyaati couple is established, they go through the Rite of Joining. During this time, a member of the Religious Caste brings the Genar and bonds the couple through a special psychic ceremony. Because of this, divorce is EXTREMELY uncommon! Less than .01% of the population ever gets divorced! Divorce is a social stigma to the Whyaati.
At this stage, the Whyaati couples life becomes less familiar. The Whyaati are expected to find another couple that they love as much as they love each other. They then go through another Joining Rite called Second Joining. This relationship, 99% of the time, is romantic and sexual. The happily married quadruple then may petition for the Rite of Offspring. This rite allows a Whyaati family to create formally recognized offspring. Socially, a child has two fathers and two mothers.
It is a slightly less usual aspect of Whyaati society that there is no definition of homosexuality or heterosexuality. All the parents engage in sexual acts with each other whenever sexual intercourse is initiated, making sex a multi-partnered, bisexual act. Sex is as powerful and as frequent as in Human society, but during The Heat, it is expected that the quadruple will attempt to have children. Whyaati are well known for being extremely passionate, sensual and romantic people. Public displays of affection are encouraged, but sex itself is a private and very intimate matter. Whyaati are notorious for not kissing and telling. A sexual secret shared between friends is the highest secret that can be offered to an outsider.
Death and Dying
Most Whyaati don?t live much past 90 to 120. By 90, their complex internal systems begin to grow out of sync with each other and serious medical problems can develop. With modern medical facilities, a Whyaati can live until about 120, but this is very rare. Most Whyaati expire by 100-105 in the modern day.
The death of a Whyaati is seldom mourned publicly Mourning is a very private affair. As human culture celebrates a person?s Birthday, the Whyaati celebrate the birthday, naming day and death day of a relative. It is usually a time of remembrance and honoring instead of mourning.
"I am Rhys Kitsune, bani Tennedar. I ask that you acknowledge and celebrate me, my life, and my successes."
The child looked eagerly up at his parents and the priest that held him by the shoulders. He sweated nervously as his parents spoke amongst themselves. "You are Rhys Kitsune, bani Tennedar. Welcome, young Masanai. May you honor your mothers and fathers."
The boys Prime Mother, Deya Kitsune, stepped forth and spoke, proud that her son had chosen her path and her last name.
Whyaati Rites and Rituals
Whyaati society and culture, like its Caste System, implies a certain amount of rigidity. To the casual observer, a Whyaati is more ritualistic than a Klingon and more nostalgic than a Bajoran. However, underlying this fašade is the truth. Whyaati do follow several Rites throughout their lives, but they are used more as public recognition and an excuse to party nowadays than anything else.
The Rites themselves tend to be very strictly enforced, but the get-togethers themselves are much more relaxed than they used to be.
At age twelve, the young Whyaati goes through his Numaxnos, or Rite of Formal Naming. Up until twelve, the child is called by a name chosen by his parents. At Age twelve, during the childs First Heat, they are put through a Rite of Naming, in which he is granted the full rights of a Child Civilian. During the Rite of Naming, the child chooses his or her own name and requests being acknowledged socially. The child then takes his father?s second name if a boy or his mother?s second name if a girl. A child may, if he desires, select the opposites Second name with no stigma. (see "The Third Gender")
Rite of Apprenticeship and Mentor
This rite is meant to take place a few days after the completion of the newly named Whyaatis First Heat. The child seeks out a non-related mentor to whom he or she will pledge his young life to. This mentor is expected to teach the new Whyaati their trade. The young Whyaati is considered an apprentice. For the next four years, he or she will train.
Rite of Ascension
This rite is done upon the completion of the apprenticeship, usually at age sixteen (16). Here the mentor teaches the student in all the secrets of the trade. After six years,the young Whyaati and his mentor call a meeting of all friends, family and a small detachment of priests and trade experts.
This eight hour ritual is done to judge the young Whyaatis fitness to join the trade. The test comes in the form of questions and actions posed by the trade experts and family. The priests are just there to record the event and maintain fairness.
Once the ritual is completed, the Whyaati bids farewell to his mentor, whom he will keep in contact with all his life, and become a Jenova.
Rite of Gallivant
The Jenova is expected shortly thereafter to go on a Gallivant, or Walk About. This Rite is probably the most loosely enforced and lax rite in all Whyaati culture. It?s purpose was for the Whyaati is see as much of the world (and universe) as he can before he must return home or set up his adult life and household. This rite is considered largely outdated, held over from times during the Fall.
The Walk About can last anywhere from two or six years, after which the Whyaati is supposed to settle down and begin his trade and adult life.
Rite of Genar and Joining
When a young Whyaati finds a mate, and the overwhelming majority do by ages twenty-two to twenty four (22-24), they may engage in the Rite known as Genar, or Joining. This is analogous to a Terran "marriage". This ritual is very private. It is held in secluded chambers in temple, with only a priest in attendance. Usually, the priest is deaf as well, but strongly telepathic. 99% of these rituals are conducted by the Order of Haa.
During the ritual, the couple share reasons why they wish to wed each other. They are expected to share their deepest, most private secrets, and swear never to reveal any of the other?s secrets to any other. During these pronouncements of love and trust, the overseeing priests uses a Genar stone to bind the couple. The stone is psionic in nature. It alters certain areas of the couples psionic and brain waves to coincide with each other.
After the eight hour ritual is completed, the couple is introduced publicly to the congregation of guests as a Joined couple. The couple then goes through a ritualized, mock consummation. This is one of the ancient "mime plays" that have been passed down.
The couple may engage in Second Genar when they find another couple that they love as much as they do each other.
Rite of Offspring
Once the quadruple is wed and have set up a reasonably well-maintained and smooth lifestyle, the may petition their parents for the Rite of Offspring. This is one of only a handful of secular rites! The quadruple gathers together their parents and siblings and publicly ask to extend the family. It is very seldom that this is not granted.
Rite of Divorce
The Rite of Divorce, a.k.a. "The Shaming", is a solemn and dire affair that a Human might compare to a funeral. However, the act itself is not all that unpleasant; the social impacts are. This rite is extremely rare!
The quadruple or couple that wishes to split all meet and take the Genar that wed them to a hallowed place. They all hold the object up and at once speak, "Our lives have grown apart." At once, they cast the Genar to the ground, which will undue MOST of the psychic bonding. At that moment, the Whyaati involved will turn directly around, each walking in a different direction (north, south, east, west). The divorce is finalized, but the social impact still remains. The worst thing about being shamed is that the divorcee cannot have a Death Song!!
A Whyaati who has undergone divorced will often leave Whyaati society, if possible. There are stories of ritual suicide. Divorce is a grave misdeed and Whyaati will quietly scorn a divorced person. It is extremely difficult for a divorced Whyaati to remarry. If they can accomplish it, the stain of divorce is wiped from the public face.
When a Whyaati dies, he is placed in his familys mausoleum and cremated. After "The Death Song" is completed, the Whyaati?s dead family will ingest a tiny bit of the deceased?s ashes. This is purely symbolic- one eats the ashes to take in a part of that Whyaati to remember them. In modern times, the ashes are mixed in teas or wines. These are served at the Revel after the Death Song and are called "Death Wines" or "Death teas". Being allowed to drink this substance is an extreme honor!
The Death Song itself is primarily composed of spontaneous memories put to rhythm by the dead's loved ones. The chant is only done for a Whyaati who had lived his life in a way befitting of The People.
The act of singing memories is believed to help along the loved one?s admittance to The Gate, where his Totem will meet him and reincarnate him according to his deeds in life.
The chant actually lasts until a strong breeze passes over the congregation. The wind symbolizes the departed entering the gate. At that moment, the dead?s spouses will all blow kisses into the air and say goodbye.