The Mukwai can vary depending on region and tribal history. They are the largest Furr by far, rivaled only by the Ice in terms of the sentient species of the Drey, and are the most set in their ways. Tribal groupings and dynamics have not changed by much over time, and they are not quickly excited by innovation. In essence, they have a strong "if it's not broke, don't fix it" type mindset.
The names of the northern and southern variants, Winqwu and Nokowai respectively, originate from an old and all but extinct language once spoken by the Mukwai. The Winqwu live in the colder areas of the world and still retain a hunter-gatherer type society, unlike the Nokowai, who thrive in warmer climates where agriculture is more easily practiced.
Overall, tribes and family groups are extremely close. New additions from other tribes are rare. Nevertheless, it is almost unheard of for an individual to leave their tribe and not join another, where loners are viewed as odd and taboo unless marked as a shaman. In the past, the Mukwai were often at war, as family insults were passed on through generations, and blood feuds were easily instigated. However, as their numbers began to dwindle, a new, more peaceful era arose, and it became more common for Mukwai from different tribes to be unusually pleasant to each other in order to avoid starting such a feud. Warriors are more common in the north and are rare in the south, only existing in tribes that still retain a war-like mentality or who live in harsher environments.
Mukwai are extremely rare in captivity for two reasons. Firstly, their sheer size and lack of maneuverability make them a hindrance in smaller households, as well as a burden to feed. They are also often shorter lived in captivity, for the absence of family can cause severe depression in those captured as adults, which can lead to wasting sicknesses or even suicide. Also, an angered Mukwai is as difficult to control as an Ice, and not to be trifled with.
Physique & AppearanceEdit
The Mukwai are the largest of the Furr species, on average reaching the same height as an Ice's shoulder, ranging between 7-9ft standing upright. Their thick fur is not suited for hot climates, and though the southern variety can thrive in temperate forests and valleys, the northern variety requires snow for at least a good portion of the year. Due to their size and bulk, it is difficult for them to travel long distances bipedally, as this puts great strain on the lower joints. It is common to see them walking on all fours, standing up only to converse or work with their forepaws.
The north-dwellers, the Winqwu, are often bigger than their southern Nokowai counterparts, with teeth adapted to a carnivorous lifestyle. Their fur is more often pale in color, with natural shades and patterns that blend well in a snowy environment. Those with darker fur are assumed to have Nokowai ancestry. Conversely, the Nokowai have a larger range of shading within the natural colors, with more unusual patterns and markings. They have omnivorous teeth and are often smaller and have thinner fur.
The Mukwai do not wear much in terms of clothing, as their bulky fur and lack of flexibility does not mix well with excessive attire. Capes and hoods may be worn to protect the head and face from the elements, but little else. They will, however, don accessories such as arm bands and necklaces. Their most common form of decoration is body paint, usually denoting certain jobs/status: - Green for scouts/hunters - Red for warriors - Blue for healers - Yellow for elders - Purple for farmers - Bright colors for children training in professions -- Orange is most commonly reserved for shamans who can receive visions in fire
Mukwai can have more than one profession, so it is not unusual for them to adopt more than one color. In addition, coloration is usually sparser on the youth, as each marking is earned through accomplishment. Leaders and elders will often be far more decorated than young adults.
The Mukwai are an overall peaceful race and tribal in nature. They take insult easily and therefore are often polite and follow strict codes of respect amongst their people. Having grown out of a very violent period in their history, tribes now socialize frequently, trading freely and hosting occasional gatherings. The northern tribes can be more war-like; however, it has become a common practice to only engage in battle if entirely necessary. Unwarranted bloodshed, especially between two Mukwai, is often looked down upon and the instigator may be punished if unable to provide the matriarch a good reason for the attack.
Stubborn and slow to change, it is a waste of time to try and convince a Mukwai that they are doing something wrong. Though elders are to be listened to and respected, even youth will prefer to repeatedly make the same mistake rather than admit they were wrong. A common and ancient phrase exchanged during a settlement between two arguing Mukwai is, "Ambla keeitzet, puh Tambla wagu keeitzet", which roughly translates to, "I am right, but you are more right".
Society & DwellingsEdit
The Mukwai live in matriarchal societies, where the Eldest female decides if and where the tribe needs to move, stands as judge at trials, and settles disputes. Males may hold high positions in the tribe, but it usually falls to the females to run the comings and goings, while the males do the labor and protect the tribe. Theirs is not a democratic society, therefore wisdom and tradition more often decides daily matters rather than individual thought.
Aershaa are welcomed in Mukwai society, and unbonded Aershaa will be treated as honored guests. In addition, bonded Aershaa are treated as full clan members and have a say in tribe matters, can take complaints to the elder, etc. A bonded Aershaa will usually aid their Mukwai in whatever their task is for the tribe, but there are rare instances where the two hold talents for different jobs. It is unusual in Mukwai culture for an individual to feel forced into a job, because they naturally follow the path of least resistance and pursue tasks that they have a born knack for.
Humans are typically off-limits and to be avoided, while other Furr species are examined on a case-by-case basis.
Depending on the variety, dwellings will differ. The Nokowai are farmers by nature and do not move unless necessary. Those with dreymagic are often utilized in the building of dens, which are cave-like in nature. The Winqwu are nomadic, following the herds they feed off of, and either utilize pre-existing caves for shelter or build temporary homes that can be left for use in future years.
Culture & ReligionEdit
As a culture steeped in history and tradition, they have very specific historical interests. For example, Mukwai make alcohol. This skill is more prominent in the Southern tribes and Northern tribes that farm in the summer. Usually brewing types of mead and rum, there is a (mostly) friendly rivalry between clans over who makes the best. It is also a much sought after trade item for non-Mukwai.
Around the summer months there is a gathering for Mukwai, usually hosted by a southern Nokowai tribe. It's a chance to reconnect with family in other tribes, share food, and trade for much needed items among their own kind.
Religion??? (include info on shamans here?)
??? (no real notes given on this)
No real last name. Last name is whatever the clan's name is. Mukwai tend to be born in the spring, and not named until after their first year.
Growth & AgingEdit
The Mukwai grow at the rate of most two-legs, with the eldest reaching the age of 80 cycles. However, unlike other Furr species, the Mukwai mature faster physically than they do mentally. Nevertheless, they are considered adults on average between the ages of 15-20, depending on when they pass the Rite of Makali.
The most common magics amongst the Mukwai are stone and fire type elementalists, as well as healing magic (??? Ethermages?). Those with an aptitude for stone or drey magic are typically used in building and farming, while fire elementalists are more often warriors, hunters, and, on extremely rare occasions, shamans.