History of Nama
Nama is a very large state in the Poswob Empire that arose from an agreement signed by the rulers of the many independent kingdoms within it to trade sovereignty for military protection and economic benefits. Nevertheless, people in Nama live the freest lives of anyone within the entire Poswob Empire and in some remote areas the people do not even know they are living within a larger nation.
The Mirror Project
One remarkable trait about Nama's government was that they allowed other nations to participate. Essentially, from a very early day, Nama had repurposed itself to mirror the world. When immigrants came to settle areas near Nama, Nama would offer each new immigrant nation an additional piece of Naman land to complement their home nation, and a voice in Nama's government. For example, Paba created the mirror nation of Pubapi in northeastern Nama and helped control traffic from Paba to the northern regions of the continent. They did this even for nations that had no other physical presence, such as the Andanese, who did not have a nation of their own. Strictly speaking, the land grants were made based on religious and political membership, which often coincided with each other and with national and ethnic divisions. Thus a nation could not simply split itself down the middle and force Nama to grant them two additional nations in Nama instead of one. Likewise the Andanese were given only one nation, not a nation for each of the nations they were a minority population in.
Originally, the lands offered to new peoples could be in any location, but soon, the most wanted lands along the coasts began to fill up, and Nama focused the Mirror Project on the less settled areas in its northern plains region. Over time, some of the nations which had set up colonies in Nama were extinguished in the wider world. Whenever possible these people would flee to Nama, trying to get into their colony as a refuge. When the refuge was much smaller than the host nation, or when the host nation was simply unable to escape, that nation would simply come to exist only within Nama. Over the millennia this has happened many times, which is why Nama is so unusually diverse compared to the lands around it. Nama has not had an ethnic majority for more than 15000 years (the Repilian tribes never considered themselves to be as one with each other, even if outsiders did).
Infighting within the colonies does sometimes happen, but there are so many of them and the nations are so small that all of these wars are unwinnable, and are usually stopped soon.
14287 BC to 1400 AD
Nama's territory was within the range of the Repilian aboriginal people. Thus the only true aboriginals in Nama are Repilians. Nama was much larger then, and essentially borderless in the north and east; all known territory was welcome to consider itself part of Nama. Thus Nama in its early days consisted of the entire northeast half of the continent, apart from anyplace that chose to secede. Nama did not consider itself a pacifist empire, since its people could change its politics at any time, but throughout their long history they rarely deliberately sought war.
Around the year 10,000 BC, pirates from Laba crashed into Nama and began enslaving Namans. At ifrst, they picked some Namans to rule the others, and blended with them to create a new ruling class. Even this, though, did not destroy Nama. However, Namans were forbidden from moving to Laba. A previously existing group of people in Nama considered themselves Labans and tried to make an alliance with the Laban pirates, but they were rejected and had to flee to the interior or be enslaved. These were called Paleo-Thaoans, not because they were related to Thaoans, but because they lived mostly in the areas later settled by Thaoans. Paleo-Thaoans were largely held down by their addiction to the hallucinogenic drug produced by a plant common in their area of Nama.
By the year 0, Nama had over two thousand tribes, with a population of a bit over 1,000,000 in total. This was very large for one country at this time. However, the islands of Laba had more than 10 million people on them, living in a much smaller space. Laba realized that they could crush Nama easily if they could only unite amongst themselves. Then they would have plenty of land for their populations. Boats of Labans began arriving on the south coast of Nama shortly after the year 50 AD.
The Namans invited the settlers to start up colonies within Nama, as they had always traditionally been welcoming of outsiders even though they had not seen a boat from the islands of Laba in the last few thousand years. (The outsiders they were welcoming of were almost always other Repilian tribes.)
But the heavily armed Laban settlers soon discovered that aboriginal Repilians in Nama were a very peaceful people, preferring books and songs to spears and swords. This meant that the colonists who killed the most Repilians would be the ones with the most room to grow. In response, some colonists sided with the Repilians, holding back the efforts of the more aggressive settlers by causing settlers to fight each other. These people were not simply being virtuous: some really were malicious all along ,but figured if the soft, tender Repilians were at least given weapons, they would be far stronger than the colonists, even if millions of colonists came, and any colonists who had sided with the Repilians even when they were weak would be given the choicest rewards when they were strong.
Outside of Nama, the Repilian people were generally more militarized, and these areas did not fall to Tapilula settlers nearly as easily, and in some cases were only eventually convered after several thousand years of peaceful intimate relations. This is how it came to pass that an area with extremely difficult terrain was settled by colonists before the flat lowlands to the east.
Opposition to agriculture
Nama early on outlawed all agriculture within its borders. They believed that agriculture was an unhealthy way of life and would lead to starvation whenever the weather was bad. Few Namans objected to this law, since most of Nama had a cold climate, and those areas that had a warm climate had poor, rocky soils and were close to the ocean where large fish were abundant.
Nama did not ask its allies to also ban agriculture, but many Namans believed that in the future there would be a war between the people in cold climates who got their food from hunting and fishing, and those who lived on farms and derived their food by cutting into the habitats of the animals that the Namans hunted.
The hunter-gatherer lifestyle of the Namans correlated almost exactly with the trait of women being reliably taller than men, and thus came to be considered a feministic way of life.
1400 to 1989
Around the year 600 the boats arriving from Laba stopped. Intermittent settlement continued until around 1400, but by this time almost all of the settlers were from other areas of the continent of Rilola, not from Laba. The settlers had not actually defeated Nama; they had merely assimiliated culturally. The prehistoric government of Nama remained intact, which meant that Nama was still open to even more settlement from outside and was still a generally peaceful nation. They created the "Naman Dissenter Union" where different governments that disagree about politics are still allied with each other and will cooperate militarily.
Nama invited peoples from all around the world to move to Nama and participate in their government. They wanted to hear all points of view on all issues and become the best educated country in the history of the world. They had no ethnic majority (the aboriginal Repilians did not consider themselves to be one tribe.)
Slavery still existed in Nama during this time, as it had for the least 11000 years. However it was mostly in the rural rolling hills of the far north, not the south coast where most of the civilization was.
Other empires grew around Nama and challenged its power. Nama was still the strongest country in the world, even if its people were individually weaker than the people of the smaller "sharper" countries around them that mostly focused on war. They were in an advantageous location, essentially the crossroads of the continent, and had control of most of the sea traffic that passed through nations that bordered Nama. But they had a few weaknesses.
One weakness was their geography: they had lately focused mostly on maintaining sea power, but their empire had only a small coastline and this was cut off from the rest of Nama by the world's tallest mountain range. This meant by the early 1900s that southern Nama was much more intimately connected with its hostile rival empires, the Star Empire and Subumpam, than with the rest of Nama. The Star Empire wanted to bottle them up in their own harbor by making an alliance with Subumpam and having a united Star-Subumpam navy blockade Nama and reduce its southern coastline to utter wasteland so the Stars could move in and take over.
In 1905, Lulala seceded from Nama. It had a coastline, but Naman ships were strong enough to blockade their ports. Nama's gov't at this tiem was called the Gold gov't.
The governments of the mirror nations could be of any type, whether democratic or not, but at Nama's level they all had one vote regardless of what their population was. In many ways it resembles the United Nations on Earth except that entire nations have moved themselves over to Nama to participate in their government. These nations could even divide amongst themselves, gaining more territory in the process. Nama promised to continue the Mirror Project at least until they ran out of land to give, after which they planned to divide up the existing communities. They figured that this would not be a problem because the world population would eventually top out and therefore Nama would reach its carrying capacity only when the rest of the world did.
Even though Namans had to remove their own people to make room for the incoming nations, the mirror nations were primarily in areas where the natives were nomadic, so this did not disrupt their way of life very much, and some of them even chose to stay in the new nations even though those nations were not compelled to accept them as citizens.
- known in Poswa as Bybabumbem