tribal customs


The Braided Rapunzels of Africa

The hairstyle currently making you do a double-take is known as Eembuvi Braids, worn by women of the Mbalantu tribes from the Namibia. It’s a style that requires preparation from a young age, usually around twelve years old, when Mbalantu girls use thick layers of finely ground tree bark and oils– a mixture that is said to be the secret to growing their hair to such lengths.
The girls will live with this thick fat-mixture on their scalp for several years before it’s loosened and the hair becomes visible. It will then be braided and styled into various gravity-defying headresses throughout their life.

A young Iranian Arab girl wearing traditional clothes with a tribal tattoo on her chin sitting next to hand woven baskets from Ahvaz, Khuzestan.

Photo belongs to sipiid_sss

:D more character doodles! This lovely young lady needs a name! She is a nonbender bodyguard / Dai Li agent. Post your ideas!

It was important for me to include Black / African-American / African characters in my version of the Avatar universe. My headcanon: when the water tribe split, some groups went south along the western coast of the Earth Kingdom, but another group went east and landed on the eastern-most peninsula/islands. They were welcomed by the indigenous population (a people with a black/African phenotype and a culture based very loosely on the Xhosa, the Maasai, and the seafaring Moken & Bajau peoples). Eventually, the waterbenders intermarried with the peninsula’s population. This has resulted in a unique mix of tribal customs, as well as a population that has earthbenders and waterbenders naturally born in the same communities. They are a minority in the Earth Kingdom though, and their relative isolation from the rest of Earth Kingdom society has allowed them to retain and preserve their unique culture.

Appropriateness of Eagle Feather Awarding

@wierdrocks asked:

One of the main characters in my book is Lakota Sioux and at one point he’s involved in the heroic rescue of a dozen people. In my research of Sioux culture I found that the eagle fathers often associated with Sioux abd other Plains Indian cultures are awarded similarly to medals like the bronze star– for valor and bravery. I guess my question is whether it would be appropriate for a teenaged boy who isn’t a soldier to be awarded an eagle feather for bravery?

Before I start, I’m going to say “Sioux” is considered a slur by tribe members! While it’s what most research is classified as, and what most legal documents are, use Oceti Sakowin instead. Or even better, the tribe name. This post has more info.

Two little misconceptions in here: 

1- That there is such a thing as “soldiers” among Native Americans in the way we think of the military in Western society. Yes, eagle feathers are an equivalent of a bronze star, and are awarded to veterans even to this day, but the details of who gets what award shouldn’t be taken to mean the exact same thing in Western versus Native society. Goes double if this is any sort of historical context and not as influenced by Western society. From what I understand, most men were eligible to fight and many would. But I haven’t done much research on the topic; just looked at census data that shows a significant drop in men in the 25 to 49 age bracket. 

2- That childhood is under the same constraints in Native as within Western society. Native kids would do stuff for the tribe and train for their eventual responsibilities pretty young, learning how to live in the bush and whatever future responsibilities they’ll hold. While they wouldn’t be considered adults until they reached certain milestones in their lives (these vary by tribe so I’m not even going to bother attempting to list), 15, 16, 17 could be considered “adult” in the tribe. Some tribes skew younger, some older. It varies. It could’ve also changed over time.

Please understand the tribe in its own terms, instead of filtering everything through the Western viewpoint. While that’s a good place to start (especially in regards to eagle feathers and war honours, because that is why you do not wear a headdress if you haven’t earned it), it’s not a good place to write from.

As for your question about the appropriateness of eagle feathers/a recognition of what he did. Who got what award is very detailed— and different— per tribe. I recall reading about the Omaha people (through a fantastically detailed ethnography by Alice Cunningham Fletcher and Francis la Flesche. I believe it’s simply called The Omaha Tribe), who are plains Natives and speak a related language, and how they had about ten or twenty different types of honours depending on the acts of bravery done. Not all of them were eagle feathers. Some where regalia, some where weapons, some were privileges. I recall one particularly high honour being having a close female relative tattooed with a design over her neck (she herself could not utter a sound during the process).

Therefore, while it might be appropriate for him to get an honour, it might not be that honour. He might genuinely be too young, or he might be old enough, or that act might make him be considered old enough. If it was the right context it could be an eagle feather, it might be deemed something else, or it might not even have an honour associated with it. All of these are possibilities. 

I am not Lakota or Oceti Sakowin, so I can’t tell you what is appropriate or not. All I can do is provide a slightly broader context, which is “Natives have their own system of honours given for bravery that extends beyond eagle feathers”. Your best bet is to ask the Lakota themselves, giving details about the situation in as much depth as you can. Here is a guide on how to research specific tribal customs and how to approach them. Of course, if any Lakota or Oceti Sakowin followers want to provide information, please do!

Good luck!

~Mod Lesya


When the aftermath naming style of “CARDNAME to CARDNAME” was revealed, I knew I wanted to make Ashes to Ashes as a card for my custom phoenix tribal EDH deck project.

While exiling cards from graveyards is typically a black mechanic, it’s not tremendously powerful and has a lot of flavor for the aftermath side of this card because it represents the exiled card being reborn as a phoenix. I also like making this design a bit of a politics card for commander because you can give the token to another player you might want to lend some assistance.

I’m also enthused that I was able to find a single piece of art for each card that showed a phoenix dying on one half and then rising on the other half.


Then and now - Papua New Guinean tribal tattoos on women

As far back as the old men and women can remember, tattooing has been a tribal custom of the coastal peoples of Papua New Guinea. Among the Motu, Waima, Aroma, Hula, Mekeo, Mailu and other related southwestern groups, women were heavily tattooed from head to toe, while men displayed chest markings related to their exploits in the headhunt. By World War II, however, tattooing traditions largely disappeared in these areas and today only the Maisin and a few neighboring peoples of Collingwood Bay in southeastern Papua remain as the last coastal people to continue tattooing itself.

The Sociology Book: In An Iron Cage Of Rationality. -- Max Weber

FOCUS: Rational Modernity

  • Modern industrial society brought technological and economic advances.
  • But this was accompanied by increased rationalization and a bureaucratic structure…
  • …that imposed new controls, restricted individual freedoms, and eroded community and kinship ties.
  • Bureaucratic efficiency has stifled traditional interactions, trapping us in an iron cage of rationality.

While Weber accepted that a study of society should be rigorous, he argued that it could not truly be objective, because it is the study not so much the social behavior but of social action.  This action is necessarily subjective, and needs to be interpreted by focusing on the subjective values that individuals associate with their actions. This interpretive approach called verstehen (understanding), was almost the antithesis of the objective study of society. Weber sought to study the experiences of the individual.

Weber was heavily influenced by Marx’s theories, especially the idea that capitalist society is depersonalizing and alienating. Weber disagreed, however, with Marx’s materialist approach and its emphasis on economics rather than culture and ideas.

In his best known work, The Protestant Ethics and the Spirit of Capitalism, Weber describes the evolution of the West from a society governed by tribal custom or religious obligations to an increasingly secular organization based on the goal of economic gain. Industrialization had been achieved through advances in science and engineering, and the capitalism that accompanied it called for purely rational decisions based on efficiency and cost-benefit analysis. While the rise of capitalism brought many material goods, it also had numerous social drawbacks; traditional cultural and spiritual values had been squashed by rationalization which brought with it a sense of “disenchantment” as the more emotional, imaginative, and mystical side of many people’s day-to-day lives had been replaced by cold calculation.

Although Weber did praise the widespread adoption of logic-making processing that replaced religious authorities dictating everything, rationalization was changing the administration of society by increasing the level of bureaucracy in all kinds of organizations. Bureaucracy, Weber believed, was both inevitable and necessary in industrial society but also imposes a new form of control that threatened to stifle the very individualism that was originally dominated by religious authorities.

Capitalism, which had promised a technological utopia with the individual in its heart, had instead created a society dominated by work and money, overseen by an uncompromising bureaucracy. A rigid rule-based society not only tends to restrict the individual but also has a dehumanizing effect, making people feel like they are at the mercy of a godless and logical system. Bureaucracy also hinders social interactions – no one interacts out of a sense of community, family, or traditional beliefs, but instead are geared toward efficiency and he achievement of specific goals. Although there is a greater degree of interdependence between people as jobs become more and more specialized, individuals feel as though their work in society is determined by others rather than their own skill and craftsmanship.

The desire for self improvement is replaced by an obsessive ambition to acquire a better job, more money, or a higher social status, and creativity is valued less than productivity. 

Mabill Week - Day One

Prompt: Mabel’s Dream (Demon) Boy 

Rating: PG

Summary: Bill tries to invade Mabel’s mind, is choked by Technicolor sparkles, fights a vampire

“Sorry, Shooting Star,” Bill said as he slipped into the slumbering girl’s mind. “Underneath all that silliness, you’re pretty sharp. I’ll give you that. But you’re no Stan Pines. The mind of a kid is no match for- ACK! BLEGH!”

Bill Cipher was a being of pure energy. He didn’t have a mouth. It was impossible for him to choke, and yet he was.

For millennia he’d invaded the minds of humanity. He’d seen all sort of indescribable horrors. He’d experienced the lusts of serial killers and delusions of mad men. Had caused quite a few of those too.

But this mind took the cake.

A technicolor wasteland hopped up on at least five different kinds of hallucinogens lay before him. There were the usual paths and doors, he could focus on that much at least. But the doors rested on moving- no, speeding walkways. They zipped from left and right, up and down, blurring faster than even he could track. Every single object - and Star’s mind was overloaded with objects - was a blasted mismatch of colors that rapidly shifted from hue to hue.

It hurt his eye. It hurt his mind.

Keep reading

farahotb  asked:

Hello ! , I'm a big fan from middle east *.* May I ask you something ? Can you please tell me more about the wildings beyond the wall ?! , their history , languages , customs and Traditions ... ect ?! , Thank you very much ❤

السلام عليكم

My own studies of history draw extensively from the Middle East, there’s such a rich and fascinating tapestry of history in many eras of human history.

As for the wildlings, we know that their traditions are fiercely preserved from First Men traditions. They refer to themselves as ‘true’ First Men, suggesting less innovation of traditions and less intermingling of First Men traditions with later Andal traditions. As they never received much in the way of diplomatic attention from the southron kingdoms, there would be little chance for tradition and ideas to intermix.

Their language is the Old Tongue, a harsh language of short-syllabled words. Many Northern Houses, like Stark or Flint, have names derived from this language.  

They have a strong oral culture. The First Men do carve runes on rocks, but as this is a labor-exhaustive process, much of the history is passed down from generation to generation. 

The wildlings themselves have a great number of tribes, each with differing cultures. There are a few commonalities, though. Fulfillment of oaths is a big one across the board, just as an example.

The Thenns have bronzeworking technology, but most of the other wildling tribes have nomadic or semi-nomadic lifestyles, preventing the sort of fixed structures to help facilitate technological development.

There is a fierce streak of individualism among wildlings, and a cultural imperative toward personal freedoms. A wildling keeps only what he can defend, suggesting that there is little in the way of property law and tradition. Raiding is a large part of wildling culture, either other tribes or south of the Wall.

The wildlings keep the Old Gods of the First Men, but their practices are notably harsher. The Old Gods’ religion has no holy figures or sacred texts, suggesting that it is a deeply personal religion. Most matters of important are done in front of a weirwood tree with a face carved into it, so the Old Gods might bear witness.

The older magical traditions are still alive. Varamyr Sixskins and Orell the Eagle skinchanger suggest that skinchanging is, while rare, not unheard of. We don’t hear of any wildlings possessing the greensight, but according to the text, one in one thousand is a warg, and one in one thousand wargs is a greenseer, we might simply not have found one yet. With the wildlings under the threat of the Others, there might not have been time to train a greenseer. Or Brynden Rivers, the Last Greenseer, might have been looking southward for his chosen inheritor of the tradition.

Marriage customs are unusual. Wildling men steal desirable women under cover of night, and if he can keep her, she becomes his wife. Wives are expected to fight every step of the way, proving their tenacity and vigor. These traits are looked upon as desirable in a wildling mate. Women are permitted to fight in wildling armies, and are found in great number alongside their male counterparts. They even have a unique term to describe them: spearwives, which suggests that it happens often enough for the language to mandate a unique word to describe them.

The King-Beyond-the-Wall is a wildling who is strong, cunning, and brave enough to lead all of the wildlings together. There have been seven in recorded history, which suggests that it is not a simple fluke by Mance Rayder in the wake of the approaching Others. The wide variety of tribal customs suggest that this King must truly be special. He cannot simply be strong or wise, but must have a strong balance of many traits in order to unite tribes with blood feuds dating back thousands of years. These individuals are truly remarkable.

But through all of these differences, they still are human beings. Val said it best

“Good men and bad, heroes and villains, men of honor, liars, cravens, brutes … we have plenty, as do you.“ -A Dance with Dragons, Jon V

Thanks for the question, Fara

SomethingLikeALawyer, Hand of the King

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, AL-AIN : Emirati men play instruments as they perform a traditional dance late on October 28, 2014 during a festival in the city of Al-Ain celebrating traditional culture. Emiratis are trying to preserve their tribal customs, including the Bedouin lifestyle, against an influx of alien influences from a foreign labour force that has transformed their lives. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMANI


Faces of Africa – Images of nearly extinct tribal dress, customs and celebrations in Africa

Faces of Africa: Thirty Years of Photography
by Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
National Geographic
2009, 360 pages, 6.2 x 6.7 x 1 inches
$11 Buy a copy on Amazon

One of my favorite books for reference and inspiration remains the two-volume visual feast entitled African Ceremonies. But it is huge and expensive. This smaller one-volume digest version by the same two photographers delivers much of the impact in a more affordable package. You get a gallery of images of nearly extinct tribal dress, customs and celebrations in Africa. These ways are exceedingly distant from us now (and from most Africans!), and gain their power from this widening difference. All in color and immediate, this book is a great bargain if you’re looking for something way outside our box.  – Kevin Kelly

February 5, 2015

Designer Questions:

- What is a good amount of cycles to aim/limit your design to in a custom magic set?

- What is a good amount of themes and when does an umbrella of a theme (example : my set is aimed to be Fairy Tales) start to break apart into smaller themes?

- How many cards constitutes a tribe?

Feedback is telling me I might have too much going on.

@damnyoumodoshuffler and @abelzumi