Tenne'da rax eche'a. I am far from the souls of those I love. I am distant from the hearts of my Beloveds. I travel the river of my Totem, seeking his knowledge. I ask the winds, earth, fire and water to hear my plea and bring forth the Holy One that you sent to guard me. I invoke his name.|
In this very secular time period, the Whyaati dare to be different. They have never abandoned their faith. It is the one thing that binds all Whyaati, no matter how different they are. Because of the homogenous and insular nature of their early society, the Whyaati religion remains very similar from one place to the next.
In Worship of Nature
All Whyaati religions are geocentric in nature. The primary gods of any Whyaati faith are the various facets of nature. The facets, which a Human might see as "The Four Elements", is merely part of the grand Whyaati Pantheon. Whyaati follow Wind, Water, Earth, Fire, Spirit, Entropy, Mind, Time, Space and Prime. These are the primary nature gods.
These nature gods are generally shapeless and never thought of in an anthropomorphic way. Each Nature God has endless "Avatars." These avatars represent the different facets and features of all the Gods. Each is generally acknowledged to have benevolent and cruel avatars.
Each of these Avatars is regarded to have several animal spirits that are associated with them. These Totems are the method in which the Gods usually speak to their children. When a God speaks directly, it can be a cause for celebration (or panic).
When very young, sometime after his Numaxnos, a child will go on a Totem Seeking with his Prime in which he took his or her name from. This involves fasting and mild physical punishment while chanting to ?call? the animal. The first animal to approach the young Whyaati is considered his Totem Animal. The young Whyaati will then spend as much time as he can gaining knowledge from his Totem. It is believed that some of the tools used in this activity bring about a limited psionic link between Whyaati and animal. Because of this, the Whyaati can "sense" emotions and impressions from the animal, thus communicating on a primitive level.
Most of the Whyaati religions believe in reincarnation. The soul of the dead is returned to nature where the dead?s Totem will give him a new life. Some religions state that this form is merely another Whyaati. Others say that it is possible to become an animal.
Whyaati'Bey is the oldest of the religions and probably the largest. It is also the most deeply ritualistic. Whyaati'Bey follows all of the tenets of Whyaati?Da as well as the common features of most Whyaati religions. It believes in The Gate in which the dead passes through during his Death Song. The Totem will give the deceased a new body, always Whyaati.
The symbol of Whyaati'Bey is a golden feather with its tips dyed blue. It is hung from the Totem Pouch.
Moree Whyaati is a slight offshoot of Whyaati'Bey. It allows for the dead to be reincarnated in any terrestrial form that they wish. This includes animals.
The symbol of Moree Whyaati is a blue and green stone smoothed by the river and painted with the fluids of the owner.
Da Whyaati Da
Da Whyaati Da is only one of two major religions that supplement the nature Gods with "Muses". The Muses are the spiritual manifestations of the tenets of Whyaati?Da. These Muses are often worshipped or contacted like a Totem Animal! The followers of Da Whyaati Da believe that they are reincarnated into another Whyaati where that new person continues the reincarnated soul on a journey of enlightenment. Only when a Whyaati soul had gained True Enlightenment can he enter The Gate.
The symbol of Da Whyaati Da is a stone circle carved from black or green marble and washed with the fluids of the owner.
This religion is probably the most conservative and secretive of all the Whyaati sects. Its followers are only chosen from Whyaati with a certain lifestyle. The lifestyle transcends caste or affiliation. The requirement- the total rejection of technology in favor of the natural world. This is easily the smallest religion and is found only on the Whyaati colony worlds.
Whyaati who follow this sect become hermits that live in the wilderness. As time passes, they become more and more feral in nature. The reason for this is that the followers of Whyaati'Kella believe that through this method of life and discipline, they can become Totem Spirits!
Whatever the religious sect, Whyaati don't tend to fight amongst themselves. Religion is considered a very private affair. No one must share a Totem Vision with anyone but their loved ones. It is simply a facet of Whyaati personality that religion does not inspire fanaticism. No one is more right or wrong than another.
Ianns eyes darted around as he bobbed on top of the water, searching the depths of the lake in a vain attempt to find Steb and Vash. Suddenly he felt a pair of hands wrap around his left leg. Simultaneously, another pair yanked down his swimming suit, leaving him buck naked. He cried out and threw his hands up as he went under. Before his eyes could dilate and adjust to the water, a pair of lips pressed against his. He knew better than to resist.|
Hobbies and Pastimes
Whyaati are taught to be very well rounded individuals. Most have an athletic, intellectual and artistic medium that they excel at. Some specialize in one or two and tend to be exceptional. As a people, the Whyaati are extremely fun loving and friendly, due to the tenet of Nexx'Ja.
Intellectual Games and Hobbies
Intellectual games tend to focus on team efforts, using closeness and telepathy to work well in tandem. Games such as charades are very popular because it dates back to the era of the "Mystery Mime Plays." Whyaati enjoy storytelling, telling jokes and riddles, and word games. Improv is very, very popular amongst these people, and they will amuse each other with it for hours on end. One popular mind sport is a game combining riddles and storytelling, where each member helps everyone write a story.
The Whyaati, especially amongst the Religious and Guilded Castea, are taught to be artistic and creative. The most common medium is dance and music. Most of these dances are very loose and ecstatic in appearance. One simply will move to the music. Music tends to have a pop or trance like quality. Whyaati music relies on ever-building complexities and layers that form a new level at every conjunction. The concept behind Whyaati music and subsequently, dance, is that a Whyaati begins alone and as the music gradually builds in complexity, they find someone to dance with. As the music gets more and more complex, the couple gets closer and closer. With the final layer being added, the Whyaati tend to dance in rhythm with each other, often becoming quite sensual.
The original damp, humid and hot weather on Whyaa made sculpture and paintings short lived. All Whyaati sculpture and painting are sealed in a shiny, latex-like substance. These forms of art tend to be very expressive and colorful- rarely taking a solid, disciplined form. They are designed to leave thoughts of wonder and mere impressions of emotion. Frescoes and mosaics are commonplace in all homes. These familial art pieces tend to depict the history of the family, i.e. a birth or marriage.
Cooking and brewing are considered fine arts to both the Guilded and Religious caste. Spices are combined artfully and dishes are made to invoke an emotional response, through taste and appearance. Whyaati food, at least to a Whyaati, looks and tastes good.
Physical Activities and Sports
Most Whyaati sports revolve around the sea. The most popular Whyaati sport is swimming and diving. Whyaati love the water and tend to immerse themselves in it at least once or twice a day. Here are a few sports, both aquatic and not.
Temmahadis is very much like a combination between tennis and golf. It has a large, enclosed arena where two teams of four play against each other. Each team has a ?Keeper? who guards a small hole in the wall. The other three members must hit the ball, but stay on their side of the line.
At random points all over the arena are "water traps" that count as a lost point. The ball is extremely bouncy and moves very quickly. The racquet resembles a Jai Alai stick.
Points are scored when a team successfully gets the ball into the opposite team?s hole. Each game is broken into three Sections that last ten minutes each. Due to the difficulty of scoring, tallies of points tend to be low. It is entirely possible to have a negative tally at the Final.
In the modern day, the Temmahadis courts are often low gravity to allow multiple playing surfaces.
Ja'Denni is a team sport in which three or more teams compete in what is essentially a mini-Olympics. The team has a swimming section, a running section, a diving section and a swimming section. Each section is graded on skill, speed of execution and beauty.
Morul'Daj or often just called "Daj" is analogous to Terran polo, but is played on the back of a cetacean creature called a Daj. The "puck" is a buoyant piece of rubber that must be hit into a goal. Teams tend to have a Keeper and five players, two of which may go beyond the center boundary.
Sha'Duka is very similar to Flag Football or Ultimate Frisbee. The game can take hours and is as much of an intellectual game as it is physical. The field is usually full of interesting obstacles, such as trees, buildings, and walls. Each team has six to ten players. Any number can be kept to guard the flag. A person is eliminated when they are "pinged" with a laser rod carried by each member. A "dead" player can rejoin the game after a five minute downtime, but must begin at their own flag.
Tierfolt is a game that is played on hovering boards. It is very much like Racquetball, but is played with ricochet rods that fire a beam to deflect the disc. The court is long and narrow, with a goal on each end. Each team has four members- no one can guard the goal fulltime. The game features a low-grav environment and the hoverboards can ricochet off any surface in the game (including players, but "Smashing" is a penalty action).
Chakabal is the newest rave amongst Whyaati sports-goers and athletes. In fact, Chakabal and Tierfolt are the only sports that inspire Chakabal or Tierfolt "hooligans".
Chakabal is a cross between swimming, soccer and ultimate frisbee. It is played in a large spherical arena filled with water. The game is played with four teams, each with a goal and goalie at the four cardinal points within the sphere. Each team possesses two defensemen, two forwards and a scoremaster.
The object of the game is to defend your goal while scoring as many points as possible against your opponents. The game uses a round, soccerball-like object that is headbutted, kicked, punched or thrown to the players.
"Parties" are very common and spontaneous events on Whyaati Arcologies. The most notable parties are the Enduring Penance night parties and parades, Equinox (twice a year), Solstice (also twice a year) and Sanctuary, the day the Whyaati believed the animals and their gods first helped them. All of these dates are noted by a day long fast with a huge party during the twilight hours. Solstice and Equinox last only one day. Enduring Penance lasts a week and Sanctuary, the longest, lasts two weeks.
These parties can get downright crazy, on the level of a Bacchanal. Most Whyaati will stay up all night for a party. The entire civilization, after an annual festival, will shutdown and relax for a day, so they can recover.
Food and Drink|
Most Whyaati food would be considered rather alien to a Terran or most other Alpha Quadrant races. They use a very different blend of spices and tastes because their palates are very different than other groups.
The two most common substances added to any Whyaati food is salt and cobalt. Both are needed in higher levels to sustain Whyaati physiology. Food tends to have a large amount of "glistening" to it- usually from oils. This too is used to sustain Whyaati physiology.
Whyaati enjoy salt as much as humans enjoy chili pepper. It could be said that the entire Whyaati diet is based off of machismo. Salt is a brisk, refreshing flavor to a Whyaati, often overdone in the name of being tough or to show off.
The proto-Whyaati evolved from omnivorous, semi-aquatic primates. The proto-Whyaati diet still continues into today. Most Whyaati are very omnivorous, balancing meat with other products. The Whyaati diet is meant to eat primarily soft-bodied vegetables and fruits, as well as sea plants and aquatic animals. Red meat and even pork will make a Whyaati very nauseated and slightly intoxicated for 24 hours afterward. Whyaati have a notorious sweet tooth and would cling to the Alpha-Quadrant chocolate like there is no tomorrow.
Whyaati do not in general ingest alcoholic beverages because it has a serious impact on their physiology. (read: Whyaati can't hold their liquor- two glasses and they?re blasted). Caffeine has a similar effect on Whyaati that alcohol does on Humans. Most Whyaati enjoy a strange watery drink with a slight blue tint. To Humans, it tastes very salty and metallic (almost unpalatable).
Drink wise, aside from the odd blue drink, Whyaati tend to consume different teas and wines. An Alpha Quadrant member would hardly call the Whyaati creation of "wine" alcoholic- it has a mere one percent alcohol level. Remember, Whyaati can get blasted very easily off of fermented drink.
Teas are much more commonplace and are made from an odd assortment of plants. The most common is a seaweed based tea plant that gives off the taste of a sweetened Earl Grey. Another seaweed tea that is very popular tastes exactly like seaweed should.
Whyaati Architecture and Interior Design
Whyaati architecture relies a great deal on geometric shapes. The most common shapes are the pyramid, triangle, pentagon and heptagon. Cylinders have also come into vogue lately on Whyaati colony worlds.
Whyaati believe that the three-sided geometric figures are sacred shapes. Perhaps it is in reference to the long lost fact that they were one of three founding races to the Borg, but this is highly unlikely. It is more likely that the Triangle represented the three castes. Because of the divinity of the triangle, most large-scale Whyaati structures are pyramidal.
Whyaati chambers are usually split off into three pentagon or heptagon shaped rooms. These rooms are seldom sectioned off with walls- Whyaati prefer a flowing openness to their design. They are, instead, divided with hanging linens, columns, half walls or paper and wood blinds.
Each of the three rooms are at different heighta Usually, the center room, the ?common room? is the lowest. Sleeping chambers tend to be the highest. The third room is almost always a sauna and pool of cool water. The chambers, especially the sleeping chambers, are usually sectioned off with wood and paper walls or doors, or hanging linens. Common chambers are only sectioned off with columns.
The most common themes in Whyaati design are plants and water. Waterfalls can be found cascading into small pools on the walls. Plants will be climbing up pillars, in central gardens, or in hanging terracotta planets that are suspended above the head. The Whyaati pool is surrounded by trees and plants. Whyaati ceilings, nowadays, can be retracted and put back into place to allow natural sunlight. In the day, a Whyaati house would remind a Terran of a walled garden or Atrium. Windows on colony worlds are little more than netting so as to catch cool afternoon breezes. The house does have an exterior wall to keep out intruders and wild animals.
The walls of most Whyaati homes are made of the iron red terracotta found on the Whyaati homeworld. On some new colonies, the Whyaati will replicate this just to remind them of home. Other groups have used different stones. Black and green marble are used for columns. Often times, highly polished and decorated obsidian is used for the floor, otherwise they use colorful mosaics. The walls are covered in frescoes of familial importance. Redwoods are used for doors and accenting.
The Cove deserves special mention. It is usually a columned or sectioned off part of the common room, and is little more than closet sized. It is big enough for one person and is used to relax and contact one?s Totem. There is a small altar in which to roll out the effects used to contact a Totem. The walls are covered in beautiful frescoes of the familys totems.
Whyaati have a great appreciation for art. Sculpture and paintings are regarded as beautiful but delicate structures, thus, they are put in sections of the house that will slow the erosion process.
Most Whyaati do not put a lot of furniture in their homes. The common chamber will have a series of couches and a table at its center, a replicator in the wall, but little else in the way of furniture. In each corner of the room, Whyaati homeowners will often place free-standing statues of Totems. In other sections, they will place hanging linens that speak the tenets of Whyaati'Da.
The bathing chamber, or swimming area, however the Whyaati may see it, is usually the least decorated. It primarily has benches and tables around the pool to hold towels and clothing. The garment reprocessor is found in this chamber, which is interesting. In most cultures, dressing is done privately, in one?s room. This seems to denote a certain level of comfort with public nudity amongst Whyaati.
In homes with children, the bathing chamber and living chambers will have wood and paper sections to divide the rooms. The divisions allow for adult and child rooms.
Those Whyaati who are fortunate enough to live on one of the new colonies tend to build terraces and verandas attached to their homes. Whyaati on arcologies don?t really have this luxury. The colonies are also able to return to the other shapes of design, such as cylinders.
Typical Whyaati households will have verandas surrounded by columns. The home will often be terracotta or whitewashed, with terracotta or black clay shingles. Very much like southwestern design.