From Dragon Eye Atlas
Revision as of 21:46, 4 November 2019 by Tom
This page is about the culture. For the religion, see Kiswaili Faith
Tribes and Clans
The tribe or clan affiliation is so central to personal identity that names within Kiswaili begin with the tribe or clan name, followed by the personal name, followed by either the father's (for sons) or the mother's (for daughters) name to indicate position within the tribe or clan. For example, the full name of current King Garako is Mouma Garako, son of Sarolan, showing his affiliation to the Mouma tribe. In fact, the king is the only official who drops his tribe name upon ascension to the throne as he is considered to be "of all tribes". Lesser officials retain their full names, so the principal of the Nanalanda Territory is still named Principal Njagwe Sajala in offical documents, dropping only his father's name. At the Chief level, even the father's name is retained.
Tribal culture dominates Kiswaili daily life to the point that while in general Kiswaili are friendly to outsiders, the simple fact that foreign visitors are without a local tribe affiliation makes all aspects of life much more difficult for them. Social life as well as business is conducted first among tribe members and only afterwards with outsiders. This is not a law anywhere within Kiswaili areas, just a custom - there may be several markets in a large city, all of which are open to everyone, but they will tend to be tribe-segregated simply by both merchants and customers preferring the market dominated by their tribe.
The Kiswaili bury their dead in cemeteries, where typically a family shares either a grave (for the poor) or a patch with several graves or even an entire section with a row or circle of graves. There is a phrase among the Kiwsaili - "buried alone" - which is an expression of the most utter and desperate loneliness, so lonely that you are not even buried with your family. Often used to express sorrow for those who travelled the world and never returned.
Death rites include the remains of the deceased being kept in a temple for three days. The rich will embalm their dead and display them openly while the poor will roll them in fabric soaked in oil to prevent rotting. It is strictly forbidden by custom to cry or wail in the presence of the deceased as nobody wishes to move on into the afterlife accompanied by the suffering of their relatives and friends. Once the body is in the ground, a three day period of mourning follows during which work usually rests or is reduced to the minimum.
An important part of the death rites in Kiswaili is to move on. Widows or widowers are expected to marry again within a year.
Art & Music
The Kiswaili religion and the Kiswaili Faith are strongly connected and you rarely see one without the other.
Kiswaili is the dominant culture in an area of half a million square kilometres and is home to about 6.3 million people.
It reaches from the furthest south all along the western coast of Auseka towards the far north, and covers all climate zones and biomes except for the highest mountains.