Two Hemahatik Children
|Regions with significant populations|
The Hemahatikiq(Hemahatik: ܗܺܝܡܐܗܐܬܝܟܝܩ) are a Paranic ethnic group inhabiting Western Alharu, who share a common language of Hemahatik and heritage through their clan-based society and Paranic ancestors. They speak the Hemahatik Language, a Paranic language related to Rhandic. The ethnonym is derived from their nation, “Hemahat”, which has its origins in the Hemahatik kingdom.
The Hemahatik people have their origins as Paranic nomads (known as “Proto-Hemahatik”) who came into contact with Pre-Hemahatik Coastal Peoples. The admixture of the two groups formed a distinct culture, with elements of both eventually forming “Early Hemahatik.” Contact, both violent and peaceful, with Dochi and the Rhandic Princely Kingdoms caused the Middle Hemahatik, which also saw the unification of the Hepep River Valley under the Kingdom of Hemahat, which would eventually be the namesake of the people. Modern Hemahatik culture is, in turn, heavily influenced by Iverican influence in the region and the introduction of Christianity in the region - a religion that led to the organization of the previously ethnic faith under one religious authority.
Homogeneity among the Hemahatik people is a fairly recent phenomenon. Historically, more Hemahatik people identified with their tribe or region than with any kind of Hemahatik identity. Even today, the Hemahatik are divided into four general groups and many tribes called clans. However, they still retain various cultural, linguistic, religious, and national traditions that keep them united.
The word “Hemahatik” is a transliteration of the local language, which uses the suffix -ik to give a word agency. Hemahatik is translated to “People from the Motherland” or “People from the Land of Our Mothers.” Hemahatik was accepted as the name for the ethnic group around the mid-1800s, as nationalism began to unify the people of modern Hemahat, although the term and others were used before to differentiate between the Rhandic and the Hemahatik. The plural of Hemahatik is Hemahatikiq (pronounced Hema-hat-ik-ique) or Hemahatiks (pronounced Hema-hat-icks) depending on the context, with the latter usually only being used when referring to a group of Hemahatik individuals of high standing.
Other terms that have been used within Hemahat to describe the Hemahatik peoples include the Itrewhatik, a term now used specifically to refer to Hemahatik living along the Hepep river, Mesuwnamasetik or “Children of The Mother”, and the Yisirgazan, a Dochi phrase roughly translating to “Men of the Horse.” The last one has, due to the troubled history of the Hemahatik and the Dochi, very negative connotations with many Hemahatik considering it an insult despite its common usage among Dochi circles.
[WIP, waiting for Alharu v5]
There are roughly 25,152,000 Hemahatik people on Eurth. Of which, 24,902,000 live in Hemahat, making up the majority of the local population.
The majority of Hemahatik people within Hemahat are members of the Anmatarik religion, with 93.7% of Hemahatik people being followers. Another 4.6% are “Dochi” Pagans, which is erroneous, as the majority of Hemahatik Pagans follow the pre-Anmatarik gods. The remaining 1.7% are other religions such as Christianity (mainly Tacolic), Salam, and Irreligious. Outside Hemahat, the Hemahatik tend to either be Anmatarik or Irreligious. The main divide between Hemahatik religiously is the difference between Agrarian and Semi-Nomadic peoples. The former tend to partake in more organized religions, such as Anmatarik and Tacolic. Meanwhile, the semi-nomadic herders often follow less organized religions, with even Anmatarik herders often believing in and worshiping uncanonized supernatural beings.
There is no major diaspora of the Hemahatik people. However, roughly 250,000 people live outside Hemahat. The majority are not permanent immigrants, but rather, are expatriates who temporarily reside in their country. This is typically to send money back home to their family or clan, as economic opportunities since the 1990s have proven shaky. Most expatriates are either educated workers working white-collar jobs or, more usually, blue-collar workers.
The Hemahatik speak the Hemahatik Language, a Paranic language related to neighboring Rhandic with elements of the Dochi language along with elements of the pre-Hemahatik Coastal Peoples. It uses the Hemahatik Script, a script formalized around the 1700s - though scripts similar to it have been used since the 500s BCE. The vast majority of ethnic Hemahatik speak Hemahatik as a first language, and all but a small fraction speak it at home.
Hemahatik can be further divided into four main dialects: Meryetik, Mewrusik, Paranik, Kehepik. They are primarily classified by their Eh-Ah Merger (or lack thereof) and their usage of Dochi words. [WIP?]
Values and Taboos
Clans, called “Abwets” in Hemahatik, and lineage play a major role in Hemahatik society. Clans act as tribes or extremely large extended families. The concept of clans has existed in one form or another since at least the beginning of written Hemahatik history. While no nation, including Hemahat itself, recognizes the hierarchy between clans, they play a major de facto role in determining a Hemahatik individuals’ place in society. They are often highly communal, with the distribution of wealth and land being a common practice within clans. For smaller clans, this means the richest members of a clan typically give portions of their wealth to poorer members of their clan. For large clans, this means extreme nepotism within businesses and the distribution of assets to individual families within a clan.
As an example, the majority of members in the Heptuin clan are at least lower-middle class due to land grants or nepotism within businesses or local/national governments. Albeit, this distribution is not perfect. The richest Heptuin clan members typically have 30 times the income of the poorest. This is not a relatively new phenomenon, as historically, the richest members of large clans kept the majority of their wealth to prevent conflict within the clan.
One’s clan is usually determined by their mother, as most clans practice matrilineal lineage. This is because the majority of clans have a mythological founder, a mother who gave birth to the first generation of a clan. However, there are exceptions to this, with some clans being patrilineal, claim descendants from a male, or both. These are, however, rare. One’s clan is the first name of a person, with their surname being their given name. Although, extra names may be given to individuals by their mother or other members of a clan with the consent of the individual’s mother.
A person can be disowned from a clan by their immediate family, meaning parents, grandparents, siblings, or their biologically closest relative if none are applicable. The process for this is complicated, but if an accuser can get more than 5 testimonies of a person’s misdeeds within a clan, they can be disowned. Disowning bars them from all the benefits being a member of a clan has, both such as inheritance and connections, and forces them to either not have a clan or join another clan through marriage, regardless of gender, or make their own clan. However, modern government procedures generally prefer it if the exiled make their own or join a new clan, as the clanless do not have full names.
The Hemahatik view on gender is fairly conservative, with Hemahat often ranking somewhere in the middle in gender equality indexes - although a few Hemahatik[who?] claim that this is due to bias.
Hemahatik mainly believe that men and women are inherently equal when it comes to decision-making and autonomy. Marriage must be agreed upon by both parties, and those within marriage typically have equal say on most decisions. Similarly, both historically and currently, inheritance of wealth and property has been absolute, with no distinction being made between men and women - although elder children are preferred regardless. Due to this, many political leaders both historically and contemporarily are women and around a quarter of the wealthiest people in Hemahat are women. Though, if you only include the purely self-made wealthy, that percentage shrinks.
While otherwise rather egalitarian, women in Hemahatik society are still seen as inherently weaker than men. Women are expected to administer the home and, even when in positions of power, are typically given more bureaucratic roles rather than active roles such as executive or legislative professions. Women who want to go into careers typically dominated by men, such as engineering or blue-collar labor, often have to work much harder than their male counterparts to have the same wage. Similarly, motherhood is considered by many to be the primary goal of a Hemahatik woman, meaning spinsters or childless widows are often looked upon fairly poorly. This even includes priestesses, who are not only allowed to marry, but are encouraged to do so.
Religion and Spirituality as a whole are highly important aspects of Hemahatik society. Hemahatik believe in a fairly spiritual world, where supernatural beings co-exist in the physical world. Remote communities frequently profess animistic views of the world, with there being Gods and Spirits in geographical formations, animals, and even every-day objects. Though, this is not the norm. Most Hemahatik communities do, however, believe in things like demons and other beings as very real and the cause of things like disease, disasters, luck, etc. Due to this, cultural conservatives may often prefer religious practices to heal from diseases or otherwise improve their situation. Even those of an unconservative nature may try religious practices on top of modern practices, such as religious medicine alongside modern medicine or prayer before a big event.
The vast majority of Hemahatik are convinced theists to some degree. Officially, only about 0.5% of Hemahatik are atheists, the majority of whom are diaspora living in other countries. Although, it is generally agreed that the number is more likely within the 3-9% range. The majority (~80%) of Hemahatik peoples consider themselves gnostic theists, fully believing that God/Gods exist and interact with the mortal world. While the primary religion, Anmatarik, does not encourage the shunning or hatred of individuals for their beliefs, people with shaky or no belief in any God are often looked down upon - more so than even those of different religions. The existence of Atheism has even been historically denied, with “no religion” not being options on any census until 2018, though “others” has been an option since the first once with religious demographics in 1954.
The Hemahatik have, due to their historical economic conditions, developed a culture of honor that is found throughout Hemahatik society. Honor is classified in two ways, that being fidelity and esteem.
To a Hemahatik, fidelity in agreement is a highly important part of their life. Historically, many communities either had no or limited law enforcement, and as such, the benefits of things like the theft of animals often outweigh any detriments to getting caught. Due to this, fidelity is extremely important in Hemahatik communities. Those who transgress against an individual within a community, or the community as a whole, are believed to have betrayed the trust of the community. Those individuals are frequently ostracized, with extra-judicial punishment up-to-and-including capital punishment being applied on said individuals. In turn, transgressions between communities are not easily forgotten, and historically, many conflicts between communities or Hemahatik polities have been for transgressions as simple as petty theft or insults.
Similarly, esteem matters very much to a Hemahatik individual. The typical Hemahatik person views their esteem as intrinsic to their honor. Insults or transgressions taken against an individual, even ones that outside parties won’t care about, are considered attacks against one’s character and honor. As such, it is generally expected for Hemahatik people to reciprocate with equal or greater force. Historically, this has led to duels, brawls, mobbing, and other forms of violence, especially between men. However, it has also been historically used to excuse violence against rivals or simply people individuals did not like. As such, laws against violence are particularly enforced as to prevent murder over simpler transgressions.
The Hemahatik People have had a long history with literature, with there being evidence for the written language as early as 600 BCE. Hemahatik literature is often written with the idea that they’d be read by orators or singular individuals to a group. As such, unlike modern literature, much of the action is either vague or left to interpretation and is left up to the reader to act out or otherwise add to the story. Although, more modernized literature does exist and has a growing market due to literacy rates improving over the past few centuries. Literature takes on quite a few forms, but is generally divided into three categories: Mythological Stories, Poetry, and Drama.
Mythological Stories refer to a wide array of written stories involving mythological characters. This includes a wide array of stories, from written oral traditions, to mythological fiction, to dramaticized versions of historical events. These tend to be the oldest forms of stories and are usually written with the intention of it being read either by parents to children or by storytellers to willing groups. The characters and settings of these kinds of stories are often set in history or involve mythological figures and present them as larger-than-life, such as presenting Namaset, the most-likely mythological mother figure to the Hemahatik, as a flawless motherly figure or the first Queen Nebey Meferwet as tomboyish when most contemporary sources reported her as rather feminine. While popular, this kind of literature lacks many of the nuances or themes outside of faith in the God/s being a good thing or acting as propaganda for religious, cultural, or nationalistic purposes.
Poetry is not a new invention within Hemahatik, with the oldest recorded poems being dated to 450 BCE. Often times, poems are mythological stories, but the poems this section refers to are non-mythological and deal more with the emotions or acts of an individual. Most poems are often highly romanticized short stories, talking about love of an individual, love of nature, love of God, or just happiness in general. Even ‘darker’ poetry is often fairly romantic, with common themes including faith, sacrifice, and honor. Poems may also include political messages as well, with Heret Nednem’s poems being famous for being metaphors for freedom, political enfranchisement, and advocacy for change. Though, some poems may include darker themes, such as the death poems made in honor of fallen individuals, which typically both celebrate the individual and somberly speak of the loss.
Hemahatik Drama was popularized in the 1700s due to political suppression against works directly critical of a ruler. Dramas are both written and staged and, compared to the other two more famous forms of literature, are often much darker. The common drama is a tragedy with both real and fictional characters set in the past. A typical drama involves a person, typically a person of high importance in their society, who lives a life of excess and/or sin. However, their life goes downhill after they commit an egregious crime or sin, such as murder, blasphemy, abuse of the people, etc. Very rarely do dramas have a good ending for their protagonists, and typically end on ominous notes. While Hemahatik dramas typically were used to instill senses of faith or honor in its audience, since the 1700s, it has also been used to indirectly satirize contemporary figures. As an example, “King Almik’s folly”, written in 1864, depicts the fictional King Almik as ruthless and perverted - with his downfall being due to his disregard of decency, which King Tayik was believed to be at the time.
The clothing of the Hemahatik has seen rapid change over the past few decades. Traditionally, clothing in Hemahat has been rather modest. For a male, the traditional clothing has been a long-sleeve robe called a Kelebeya. The Kelebeya can be both plain or striped vertically, though some wear theirs with other patterns and the very rich may choose to fancify theirs even further with ribbons. The Kelebeya is often worn in combination with scarfs, furs, and two primary kinds of headwear: The Debebs and the Herebs. The former being a type of wide-brimmed straw hat, whilst the latter is a cloth covering, usually covering both the mouth and head. Women also wear Kelebeya, but more conservative women typically wear Herebs while men wear Debebs. Also important is the Newh, a type of waistband, plackart, or outerwear corset depending on the make and region. Due to discomfort, the Newh is uncommon in modern Hemahatik circles. However, they often signified status, with the richest members of society having sizable Newh made out of steel, fine silk, or other expensive materials.
In more urbanized areas, modern clothing imported from Europa and other places can be found. Jeans and T-Shirts are commonly found among men, whilst women wear either clothing advertised towards women or whatever they can buy. There is a major class divide, however. The lower class often buys clothing off the rack in charity stores, with many imported clothes being donated or otherwise second-hand. Imported clothing has been a point of contention for some, as a few have argued that they hurt traditional tailorship due to the price of imported clothing compared to traditional clothing.
The Hemahatik have a few rules of modesty when it comes to dress. Showing the head or arms is fine, and gloves or head coverings are not mandatory or even encouraged. However, typically, most other parts of the body are encouraged to be covered. While not illegal, most establishments require shoes, shirts, and pants, and most Hemahatik keep their shoes on while at a house. Men are held to the same standard as women, and not meeting the expectations of Hemahatik wear can be met with mockery or harassment, with quite a few tourists being yelled at by locals for their lack of ‘modesty.’ It is to be noted that, however, this is not a universal rule. Particularly tourist-friendly areas often have much more lax expectations, with speedos and bikinis being accepted.
Hemahat has a small but slowly growing film industry. The city of Khewet, due to its population and growing middle class, has allowed a few filmmakers to arise from the city. Films in Hemahat are typically dramas or other stories turned into film, with the most famous movie in Hemahat being Tetitaha, an action film about King Hembes. Hemahatik films produced locally are often infamous for their low budget and poor production quality. This, in combination with issues such as a lack of proper translation and lack of marketing outside Hemahat, means Hemahatik movies are usually produced for local consumption. However, as local consumption increases, the film industry may become a sizable industry in the near-future.
Cuisine in Hemahat is often regional, with there being heavy differences depending on location. Around the Hepep and Kehep river, cuisine is typically more vegetarian with rice and other staple crops being complimented by fruits, vegetables, and only a limited amount of meat. Examples include the Petkak, rice cooked with chicken and oregano, and the Kakmet, which is mostly rice, chunks of mutton, and lemon juice. Along the coast, a strong fishing culture exists, with seafood being highly sought after in the region. Tuna, flounder, white sea bass, and rock fish have all become staples of the region. Many towns claim to have the best gerbet, a traditional dish involving slow cooked flounder with a sauce that varies depending on the town. In recent years, fishing has become regulated due to the presence of mercury in fish. A large minority of Hemahatik live in pastoral/ranching, where the raising of livestock are major industries. These rural areas, however, tend to be quite poor in terms of crop production and thus cuisine in the region often uses meat as a staple crop complimented by grain rather than the other way around. “Hemahatik Jerky” is a common snack in the region, and dishes involving bovine, sheep, or goat such as ‘paranik steak’ - a beef dish involving herbs from the Rahet region.
The traditional architecture of Hemahat takes influence from neighboring countries, but is still distinct. Vernacular structures are typically made out of adobe with an earthen plaster covering it. However, limestone bricks are commonly found in larger or higher class structures, such as temples, palaces, etc. Larger structures were typically fairly spacious and open, with large courtyards, open kitchens/dining rooms, etc. Even lower-class houses typically had large yards for activities like religious festivals and hosting guests. With the advent of modern city planning, more modern structures or structures with modern planning in mind have been built, with many cities developing large apartment complexes and other buildings. However, individual homes or structures may still be built with traditional ideas of spacious exteriors in mind, with green spaces being integral to Hemahatik cities.
One of the most famous structural styles is the A’tay Pyramid, the traditional temples of the Hemahatik. Unlike other pyramids, they are typically built with flattened tops and staircases, as the top portion is where rituals nominally take place, either in a building or out in the open. It has become a popular motif in Hemahatik culture, and even modern religious centers are often built with this design in mind, albeit usually either angled, having the pyramid be the temple itself, a lot less tall than their ancient counterparts.
Hemahatik music has taken influence from both indigenous and surrounding cultures in Alharu. The Hemahatik people have developed a wide array of traditional instruments, such as drums (Tebens), flutes (Maaht), and lyres (Benets). Other instruments have been historically found, but their construction has either stopped or only exists in isolated villages. Traditional Folk is divided between ‘epic’ and ‘festive’ folk music. Epic folk music refers to songs about religion or historical events and often takes a much slower tempo. Comparatively, festive folk music is usually played during festivities such as feast, marriages, etc. The tempo is much higher and involves much lighter themes.
So-called ‘contemporary folk’ is often a fairly popular genre, often incorporating both traditional elements like flutes and drums with modern instruments like acoustic guitars. Interactions with cultures in Alharu have contributed to Hemahatik music scenes as well, and musical genres from Mesothalassa and Eastern Alharu can be found being played by bands or sold at record stores. Due to globalization, pop, rock, and metal bands have also made an impact in Hemahat, with many of the top 100 singles every year in Hemahat being pop. These songs regularly contain folk elements, incorporating instruments or themes commonly found in Hemahat, gaining popularity with both younger and older generations of Hemahatik.