Skip Navigation Links
World of San'Dora
GlossographyExpand Glossography
HistoryExpand History
CosmologyExpand Cosmology
OrganizationsExpand Organizations
HaelfinanExpand Haelfinan
VarExpand Var
CympyionExpand Cympyion
MankindExpand Mankind
Clutching Nine ArrowsExpand Clutching Nine Arrows
High Fantasy HERO
Contact Webmaster
Skip Navigation LinksWorld of San'Dora>Inhabitants>Mankind>Aranashi>Undari>Culture
History Nations Characters
Groups of Note Culture Undari
Undari Culture
The Undari were never permitted to have much of a culture under the tyranny of the Undu, and thus after the collapse of the Empire there was very little to bind them together as one people which played a large part in the splintering of the once mighty nation into splinters. Approximately two millennia of digression has only lead to further lack of commonality. However there are a few similarities that can be found among the various Undari peoples.
In general the Undari do not have any strong religious beliefs and instinctively distrust religions and those that espouse them as the idea is closely related to the false religion of the Undu which oppressed their ancestors. This is not universally true however.
The nations annexed by Zadeshi have been forcefully converted to the Zadeshi state religion of Urzadrek. Some people take to it more than others, but it remains a point of contention in Arvanis.
Vei-Da's ruling warrior elite have a highly ritualized code and culture that has some religious overtones, but isn't a true religion.
Most Undari aren't very philosophical, but for the most part people believe in the idea of souls, which they call SHI (SHEE) (always capitalized).
Some of the Undari believe that when a person dies their SHI lingers until their bodies are interred or otherwise laid to rest and that restless SHI can haunt the living. This belief is most common among the central and eastern Undari and is discredited in the western Undari nations of Hurishol, Landroth, and Allishan.
The Undari also believe, due to their own history proving it, that there is great magical power in SHI that can be tapped by some to work powerful magic. They also universally believe that it is possible for someone to die and be returned to life; several Zagatu (Volomancers) have managed the feat in their recorded and oral histories.
Though there are certainly exceptions at the individual level, most Undari have a partial or total disregard for the sanctity of life, and a general lack of empathy for others. Other Aranashi such as the Zha'iirians and the Zadeshi do not exhibit this general trait as a people.
It is generally presumed by scholars that bother pondering it at all to be a by product of the many millennia of Undu oppression and cruelty. In the days of Empire a person could very realistically be accused of sedition or wrong doing by a  neighbor or relative and be given over for sacrifice. Similarly loved ones could be taken at random, and everyone had the threat of death over them.
In such an environment the ability to not care about the fate or well being of others is a solid survival trait. The Hurisholi and particularly the Andelvai have overcome this tendency amongst themselves, but most Undari think nothing at all of killing, maiming, or torture. As they see it such is just the way of a cruel world.
As a rule Undari have a strong tendency towards self absorption, individuality, and a strong distrust for authority.
There are of course exceptions, but Undari tend to be wary of strangers, quick to startle, and generally seem skittish to their Vorgaanese, Machtig, and Nordmanner neighbors. Generally Undari are not known for their courage or boldness, and most prefer to avoid confrontations.
Most Undari have simple goals in life and most have the same goal, which is to live as comfortably as possible for as long as possible. Used to lives of hardship and oppression, Undari are surprisingly resilient to and able to recover from disasters, devastation, and personal loss. They are incredible survivors, and their ability to rebuild and make do is quite remarkable.
Undari are seldom greedy; a general credo of theirs is to always be grateful for what you get, and another is that things could always be worse. A greedy Undari is likely disapproved of by those that know them, and expected to meet a bad end by overstepping themselves someday. However while they are not greedy, they do tend to be miserly and to hoard resources while simultaneously attempting to appear no better or worse off than their neighbor.
Many of their neighbors believe them to be intrinsically dishonest but this isn't true for most. The average Undari is as honest as the next person, but Undari can be very deceitful when it comes to protecting themselves. As great survivors they will generally say or do whatever they must do to get themselves out of a bad situation and continue to live, and this includes lying with a straight face and great conviction.
One thing that is very notable about Undari is that they are very industrious. Their very existence demands hard work, and lazy Undari are rare. Unemployment is practically a foreign concept among the Undari as almost every last one of them constantly toils towards some ends. From the poorest sustenance farmer in the rearmost backwater stretch of plains land to the wealthiest merchant in Zerlaaga, the Undari believe in tirelessly striving.
It can be said that in general the vast majority of Undari are poor by the standards of all four of their major neighboring peoples, with the vast majority of wealth held by a very small minority (Hurishol and Adelvai are exceptions to this). Aside from that truism, each Undari nation is organized differently.
Undari nations vary on this, but for the most part the traditional form of address whereby a family name comes first, followed by a personal name is observed universally. Undari names tend to be poly-syllabic and the family and personal names together can frequently have seven or more syllables. Some names have a meaning or are representative, but most are just proper names.
Undari tend to be very formal about their names and to use both first and last names with all but the closest friends and relatives.
For the most part the Undari splinter nations have no special relationships amongst themselves. Part of the Undaris' problem as a people in fact is their inability to ally for any length of time even in their own best interests.
Andelvai and Orgorosh have fought many border wars with one another and their shared border is in almost constant flux. In addition to having no natural borders and competing for the same resources, the two splinter nations developed antithecal social structures and culture that ensures they will never find common ground.
The Landrothi and Allishani, and to a lesser extent some Hurisholi living along the Great Northern Trade Route have become quite mercantile oriented over the millennia and are capable participants in world commerce along the Shidaal to Daelanthanor corridor. A few such Undari are powerful and influential enough to conduct business in a broader arena.
However they are the exception. Most of the Undari are not particularly involved or good at commerce.
This varies by Undari nation, but generally speaking Undari have much looser ideas of property ownership than their neighboring nations. This root lack of a strong sense of possessiveness has lead to some rather unique cultures among some of the Undari; most particularly the Hurisholi and Andelvai.
The Undari have no strong feelings about slavery one way or the other, but few are wealthy enough to afford one and overall the practice is rare and unusual, and almost entirely found only among wealthy merchants in Kasaad, Zerlaaga, and Ulsaar.
Of all the Undari nations that have not been annexed by Zadesh only Landroth has an actual standardized income tax for residents. Vei-Da has a system of tribute but it is more akin to a fealty system of tithing and it is somewhat loosely implemented. And of course Kasaad, Ulsaar, and Zerlaaga all have various tariffs and fees related to the Great Northern Trade Route.
The three nations annexed by Zadesh, Famor, Akosa, and Arvanis, all have the standard Zadeshi taxes plus a special colony tax that each must pay for a century to essentially buy their full entry into the Zadeshi Empire. This "privilege" is a compulsory one, of course but to the victor goes the spoils.
Most Undari nations lack much in the way of natural resources and primarily produce food stock and may export the excess, and they must import anything they lack the means to make themselves which is part of the reason the Great Northern Trade Route is so lucrative.
Though their far distant ancestors used the standard Aranashi calendar, the Undu instituted a different calendar that is still used by the non-annexed Undari splinter nations.
Undari have an odd calendar consisting of 175 day years called Mua (MOO-AH). Between each year, which corresponds to roughly midsummer, there is a ten day period called an En-Zu (IN-ZOO) which used to be a period of "religious" observation during the days of the Undu, but which has turned into a sort of ten day festival among the western and northern Undari.
En-Zu festivals are pretty restrained; the average Machtig, Vorgaanese, or Nordmanner wouldn't consider them to be much of a revelry, but it is the closest the Undari that practice it come to a shared holiday.
Each year is divided into five Ita (EE-TAH) which are named in order:
  1. Sha-Tu (SHAW-TOO)
  2. Da-Tu (DAH-TOO)
  3. Elu-Tu (EE-LOO-TOO)
  4. Zav-Tu (ZOHV-TOO)
  5. Mas-Tu (MOSS-TOO)
Each day is called a Ka (KAH) and are organized into seven five day weeks per Ita, called Kam (KAHM). The days in order are called:
  1. Sha-Ka (SHAW-KAH)
  2. Da-Ka (DAH-KAH)
  3. Elu-Ka (EE-LOO-KAH)
  4. Zav-Ka (ZOHV-KAH)
  5. Mas-Ka  (MOSS-KAH)