From FrathWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Flag of Illte.png
= Illomi Ethnographical Questionnaire =

Dr. Zahir’s Ethnographical Questionnaire was compiled by David Zahir to help in the description of concultures, and can be found in the files section of the Conculture group at Yahoo.


Questions of Place

Describe the geography of where your society calls home.

Illte is an archipelago continent of more than thousand smaller and larger islands and skerries contained in a shallow ocean. The continent stretches from just north of the equator, down to the south pole and a bit beyond.

Describe the climate your society deals with. How severe are their seasons?

The climate of Illte changes from tropical in the north to arctic around the south pole.

What kinds of natural disasters has this society gotten used to?

Tidal waves and tsunamis threatens the coastal islands, while some of the interior islands has volcanoes and hydrothermal vents.

What are the most commonly-grown foods?

What are the most commonly-eaten meats?

What foods are considered exotic or expensive?

Bread. (Wheat can't grow on Illte.)

What forms of alcohol are common? Rare?

Alcohol was first reintroduced to the Illomi by the Zhonyo, as a beverage made from fermented rice. A small amount of alcohol are brewed in sub-tropic Illte.

Is there usually enough food and water for the population?

Before the Zhonyo made contact with the Illomi, there was not enough food or water to sustain the population of source people that fled to Illte. While the Zhonyo had an abundance of food, they didn't have more water than for their own immediate usage. As the Illomi knew how to extract fresh water from the ocean, an exchange of knowledge happened, which made it possible for both people to, not only survive on Illte, but eventually also to thrive.

Today, 1112 a.Q., the supply of food and water are enough to supply not only the local population, but also to supply the Zhonyo homeland with large amounts of both.

What is this place's most abundant resource?

What is its most valuable resource?

Initially, freshwater was considered to be more valuable than gold, and was, for a time, actually used as currency.

What resource is it most lacking?

As Illte has almost no fresh water, water is the most lacking resource in Illte.

How do people travel from one place to another?

Traditionally, boats are the most common means of transportation for long journeys, however in modern times, other means of transportation has been invented, such as cars, trains and airplanes. While cars are useful on each of the islands, and trains can cross between islands of close distance, airplanes are the only viable means of transportation for long distance travel. However, due to the amount of suffering caused by flight, it has never become a popular vehicle.

Boats are still the preferred means of transportation.

Are the borders secure? In what way?

Well, not really. Illte is protected by its distance from the other continents. And as only the friendly Zhonyo has the means to cross the distance, there are no borders to secure.

How many people live here?

In 21 a.Q., about 10,000 of the source people landed on Illte. 100 years later, only ca. 7,000 remained. Almost 1000 years after that, several millions of decedents of the source people, and a few million Zhonyo lives in Illte. No native population has been found.

Where in this place to they congregate?

Over the millennium the Illomi and the Zhonyo has settled on every island in the tropic, and has settled on many subtropical islands too. We are slowly creeping down toward the subarctic.

What part of this place do they avoid? Why?

Since 1047 a.Q. there has been rumors of vicious creature in the vicinity of the millennium city, Karomill. Little are known about this creature, including the fact that it exists. What is known, is that body parts has been found in the southern outskirt of Karomill. The way the body parts has been severed indicated that it has neither been done by animals or by the known homi population.

What are the most common domesticated animals here? And what are they domesticated for?

What are the most common wild animals?

It is estimated that the carnackfish is the most common wild animal. Unfortunately, it is also the most dangerous animal in Illte.

Which animals are likely to be pets? Which ones won't be?

Questions of Time

How far back does this society's written history go?

The 1091 years of Illomi history are preceded by scraps of close to 500 years of written history by the source people, that was rescued by Qakhomatze and his refugees. The written history of the Zhonyo goes back about 4-5,000 years.

How far back do its people believe it goes?

Following underwater excavations on Illte, it is estimated that Illte's ocean was dry land some 8-12,000 years ago. Archaeological finds indicates that some kind of writing system may have existed at that time.

What is the worst disaster they believe they've faced?

The prehistoric rise of the ocean to flood Illte may well compete with the war of extermination fought by the Negans against the source people.

What was the best thing that every happened to them?

Meeting the Zhonyo. Without their knowledge of edible plants and sea life, the Illomi wouldn't have survived.

What in their past makes them feel ashamed?

The dark age of banking that followed in the wake of the introduction with the Zhonyo, is the darkest period in Illomi history. Near the end of the age of banking, people would dive to capture carnackfishes so that they could have it bite themselves and their family. King Ferde's suicide note states

My people are dying! Not from lack of food as in the days of Qakhomatze, nor from war as in the days before him, but from the claws of banking on our throats. We are all doomed to die of hunger while our food are left unharvested. May my successor send the bankers to Welauneqi.


His successor, King Zara, fulfilled his wish, making banking virtually impossible. Under her rule, 86 bankers was executed for their crimes, 8 of which were recorded as having been executed by King Zara personally.

What in their past makes them proud?

That they were successful in creating a society with no financial poverty.

What are they afraid of happening again?

They are afraid banks may reappear.

What are they hoping will happen? Do they think it likely?

What do they assume the future will hold?

How has this society changed? Do its current members realize this?

What are the most popular stories about the past?

Who in the past is the greatest hero? The worst villain?

Qakhomatze and King Zara are the greatest heroes, while the Negans and bankers are the worst villains.

Do people think the present better or worse than the past?

Better. During the dark ages of banking, and during the days before they met the Zhonyo, people died of starvation.

Do people believe the future will be better or worse than the present or past?

The future is likely to continue as it is in the present, with plenty of food and meaningful work, and no need to sell one selves into slavery for the bankers.

Questions of Sex and Family

How many spouses may a man or woman have?


Who decides on a marriage?

Marriage is a mutual agreement between those who engage in marriage.

Can a marriage end in divorce? How?

Divorce? I think the last one was several decades ago, in Illome. It seems like the woman had lost her mind. She was eventually euthanized, though.

Divorce was also common during the dark ages of banking.

Who usually takes custody of children if a marriage ends for some reason?

Since divorce is such a rare occurrence, there isn't any precedence for who gets the kids. In the case above, the woman drag the kids with her, kicking and screaming, several times. They fled from her each time. But as already stated, she had lost her mind, and was eventually euthanized. Welauneqi took her before her time.

How is adultery defined? What (if any) is the punishment? Who decides?

How are families named?

The couple keeps their own family names when married. Any kids gets each the favorite family names from each of the parents.

What happens to orphans?

Orphans are left to an adult the child has parental relations with. This can be close relatives, close friends of the family, or parents of the child's best friend.

How are boy and girl children treated differently?

Boys and girls are virtually treated equally, but some minor differences springs from the differences in physical and mental development. Boys will usually spend almost 1 more year in primary school than their female siblings, even if they are twins.

Are premarital relations allowed?


How does your society define incest? Rape? How do people react to these?

As incest, the act of having sexual intercourse with a close relative for the purpose of procreation, often causes suffering for the offspring, it is not considered as being an acceptable action.

Rape is considered to be a violent act of causing suffering, and are, as such, judged harshly. Death penalty may be given if the suffering caused are considered as being unlawful (aka torturous).

People are less appalled at incest than to rape.

What, if anything, is considered a good marriage gift?

Plants are often given as marriage gifts.

What secret vice is believed to be widely practiced?

What secret vice actually is practiced?

What sexual habits are widely believed common among foriegners?

How do people react to homosexuality?

Many people still finds it weird that some people finds the sexual company of someone of the same sex appealing.

How do the genders dress?

There are virtually no gender specific dress code in Illte.

Is prostitution legal? How are prostitutes viewed? Is this accurate?

There are no laws forbidding the exchange of money for sexual intercourse or relations. Each such contract are governed by whatever law it's made under.

Early in Illomi history, prostitutes was often poor people in need of money. After the end of the dark ages of banking, poverty became less of a deal, and prostitution out of desperation disappeared. Modern prostitutes offer their services poorly as a social service.

What professions or activities are considered masculine?

What professions or activities are viewed as feminine?

What inanimate or sexless things are considered male or female?

Inanimate things are considered neuter, while sexless things are considered being of either sex. Grammatically they're considered being of common gender.

What is the biggest sexual taboo?

Some people get sexual pleasure from experiencing pain. Sometimes even extreme pain - pain beyond want is considered lawful.

Does this society connect the ideas of marriage with love?

Usually among the Illomi, less among the Zhonyo. Marriage for love is the norm, though.

What does this society mean by the word "virgin" and how important it it?

The term "virgin" are considered outdated among the Illomi.

Questions of Manners

Who speaks first at a formal gathering?

What kinds of gifts are considered in extremely bad taste?

You do not give anyone a carnackfish...

How do younger adults address their elders?

No different than anyone else. Normal etiquette only apply differences in address on familiarity.

What colors are associated with power? With virtue? With death?

If two men get into a fight, how is this supposed to be resolved?

The one who walks away wins, while the other one is buried.

If two women get into a fight, how should that be resolved?

The one with the most skin left on her body wins, the other one becomes dinner.

When is it rude to laugh at something funny?

What kinds of questions cannot be asked in public? In private? At all?

How do people demonstrate grief?

What does this society do with their corpses?

Corpses are cremated, and the ashes are either kept or spread on the ocean.

What kinds of jewelry do people where? And when?

Who inherits property? Titles? Position?

Properties reverts back to the builder company or the Crown. Titles and positions are not inherited, not even the title of King.

What happens to those suffering from extreme mental illness?

The are euthanized, unless their parents wants to keep them as pets.

What are the most popular games? How important are they?

What parts of the body are routinely covered?

While at work or education, people are required to cover their body from neck to knees. Traveling by public transport, you are required to use, at minimum, a loin cloth or a skirt. It is also common to wear at least a loin cloth or a skirt when attending parties or when entering commercial or governmental districts.

How private are bodily functions like bathing or defecating?

While defecation is a private matter, bathing can be as private as you wish. Zoznan and Fuqnan children often bathes together with their friends and family, while Kunan and Polnan kids are usually more private. Married couples and lovers often share their bathing with each other.

How do people react to physical deformity?

When and how does someone go from child to adult?

The journey from child to adult happens step by step as the child develop in their own pace.

Officially a child is considered conscious, Zoznan, from about 2 years of age, and are from the moment it shows signs of consciousness considered to be a homi, a human. By law, it is unlawful to end a human life, unless doing so spares the person from suffering.

The next step is primary school. To begin school, the child has to pass a test to show that the child truly can be included into society, Fuqnan. When the child passes, it begins school in its local community. For a normal child, this happens when the child is 7 or 8 years old. This stage is often skipped by the Followers of Leisha, the Illomi atheists.

To go on to secondary level education, the child has to pass a written exam, showing it has sufficient skills in reading, writing and math to be educated in more specifically in the arts of knowledge, Kunan. Here, for the first time, are differences between the genders apparent. Girls will often pass the test before they are 12 years old, while boys usually passes before they are 13. Secondary education are required by law.

Tertiary education requires the child to be at least 14 years of age, and having attended secondary education for at least 2 years. During the exam, the child must show skills in basic economy, social and political history, current affairs, in addition to advanced reading, writing and math skills. Having passed the test, the child is given a written pass titling them Polnan, Statehood. In addition to having the right to attend tertiary education, the pass also gives you the right to vote. Socially, the pass is also accepted as Age of consent. Gender difference is smaller here, with boys passing about 6 months after girls.

Being a Polnan, all you have to do to advance to adulthood, Plenan, are to pass another test. Although it does happen, it is uncommon to pass this last exam before becoming 17 years old.

Questions of Faith

Is there a formal clergy? How are they organized?


What do people believe happens to them after death? How, if at all, can they influence this?

What's left of the soul belongs to Welauneqi. The more you share you soul with other's the less is left to Welauneqi.

What happens to those who disagree with the majority on questions of religion?

Nothing, unless their actions are in violation of The act of equality of faith.

Are there any particular places considered special or holy? What are they like?

What are the most popular rituals or festivals?

What do people want from the god or gods? How do they try and get it?

How do their religious practices differ from their neighbours?

What is the most commonly broken religious rule?(i) What is the least-violated religious rule?

What factions exist within the dominant religious institutions? How do they compete?

Are there monastic groups?


How are those who follow different faiths treated?

The Act of Equality of Faith requires everyone to treat people of different faith as equals. It is basically illegal to preach that your faith is superior to any other faith.

What relationship do religious and political leaders have?

Government is suppose to be based upon the need of the people, not the need of religions.

What superstitions are common?

What kinds of supernatural events/beings do people fear?

There are nothing supernatural. Anything that exist has to be natural. It may have more strength than humans, but it's still natural. Even the gods are natural, even though they possesses strengths beyond human capacity.

Questions of Government

Who decides whether someone has broken a law? How?

It depends on the law.

What kinds of punishments are meted out? By whom? Why?

Punishments are often some kind of restriction on the personal freedom of the convicted. They range from minor restrictions of the personal freedom of movement to the ultimate price of restriction of the freedom to live.

How are new laws created or old ones changed?

Most laws are created, revised and discarded by the parliament, though some laws are enacted on the local level.

Is there some form of clemency or pardon? What is involved?

Clemency is common, but there are no pardon. One can't just break the law and expect to go free, just because one knows someone in power.

Clemency are pleaded in courts of law as part of the proceedings. If there are doubts, clemency are granted. If there are no doubts, clemency are not granted, and the book's thrown at you.

There are no clemency in courts of science, though, but a court of science may grant you pardon.

Who has the right to give orders, and why?

What titles do various officials have?

How are the rules different for officials as opposed to the common person?

How do government officials dress?

Is the law written down? Who interprets it?

Modern laws are written as electronic text, and are more often than not also available as live recordings. Many ancient laws are also available as electronic texts. The most interesting are also available as live recordings.

Modern laws are written to be exact enough to be interpreted by anyone from Kunan and upwards. During the dark ages of banking, laws were written in such a manner that it could only be interpreted by specialists, lawhousemen.

Once accused, what recourse does someone have?

As anyone can interpret the laws, anyone can give advise.

Is torture allowed? What kinds?


How are people executed?

By injecting a lethal two-component concoction containing large dosages of anesthesia and neurotoxins. The anesthesia induces and maintains a deep coma, while the neurotoxins disrupts neural function, causing massive neural damage, including lethal brain damage, resulting in massive organ failure throughout the body. Death is almost instantaneous, often within 20 seconds after the second component are injected. Without the second component death by suffocation will occur within 90 minutes, unless an antidote are given. The second component are usually given within 5 minutes after the first component.

Who cannot rise to positions of leadership?

Only people who doesn't have the right to vote. Once a 14 year old girl become mayor of Saltred. She made a good appearance too.

Is bribery allowed? Under what circumstances?

Bribery was made illegal as far back as when Qakhomatze reigned, but during the dark ages of banking there existed methods for escaping punishment for bribing officials. Since then bribery has gradually fallen out of favor. After the current economical system replaced the system enacted by King Zara, bribery has become impractical and thus virtually non-existent.

What makes someone a bad ruler in this society? What can be done about it?

What are the most common or dangerous forms of criminal?

Questions of War

This section is not applicable to the Illomi, nor the Zhonyo living in Illte.

Questions of Education

Does this society have its own language? Its own writing?

Delang are written using the alphabet of one of the source people, the Latins, and a later derivative of the alphabet of the Ruzi, another of the source people. Both alphabets are taught at school.

How common is literacy? How is literacy viewed?

Literacy are close to 100%. Literacy are required for secondary education.

What form and value are books?

Modern books are usually only available for zikhons, a tablet computer, as plain texts, illustrated or not, live recordings, animations, or a combination of these, and sometimes as interactive stories.

Special edition are printed on paper made from wooden pulp, often with a wooden preface.

Who teaches others? How do they teach?

Who decides who learns to read or write?(f) Who teaches professions, like carpenter or scribe?

Are foreigners ever brought in to teach new skills? Who does that?

How do this society's doctors try to treat wounds and sickness?

Which medical assumtions of this society are wrong?

Questions of Art

What are the favorite artforms?

What are the least-favorite?

How respected are artists?

Do artists require official or unofficial protection?

What kinds of trouble are artists in particular likely to find themselves in?

How might a very successful artist live?

What forms of theatre does your society have?

How naturalistic or stylized is your society's art?

What shapes are most common in your society's arts, like embroidery or architecture?

Which artforms get the most and least respect?

What form does censorship take?

Who may not be an artist?

What qualities equal "beauty" in this society?

What makes a man or woman especially beautiful?

How do people react to tattoos? Piercings? Facial hair? Make-up?

Questions of sex and marriage

Is sex confined to marriage?


What constitutes aberrant behavior?

Sexual relations with animals are considered abnormal, while sexual relations causing pain or suffering are considered appalling.

Is there anything about this culture or religion in that culture that specifically addresses sexual conduct?

It is considered rude to have sex in public.

Are there laws about it?

What about prostitution?

Officially, prostitution does not occur in Illte, although there are no laws forbidding the exchange of money for sexual intercourse or relations.

How old should someone be in your culture to be having sex?

The only limitation to sexual relation as a child, is the social taboo of a Polnan having intercourse with a non-Polnan, and the greater taboo of causing suffering. Neither the taboos nor any law sets a specific age limit, but in most cases will an adult be prosecuted and sentenced for having intercourse with a child that's not Polnan. Sentencing may include death penalty, if the suffering is considered unlawful (aka torturous).

What is considered too great a difference in age for a couple?

It depends on their age, but it is unusual for a couple to be made up of someone who is old enough to be an actual parent of the other.

Do relationships allow multiple partners?

Strangely enough, some does, but most are couples of twos.

Should sex be a one-to-one experience? Or are groups allowed?

For most relationships, sexual intercourse is a one-to-one experience. Other sexual relations more often allows for more actors.

And, of course, what about homosexuality? Is it frowned on? Encouraged?

As long as they doesn't display their abnormality in public, homosexuals are left in peace. In the old days there might have been some altercations, but not anymore. People just doesn't care what you do, as long as you doesn't display it in public.

For parents with only one kid, having that kid go nutty, isn't exactly the best gift that could be given.

Questions of death and burial

What is their understanding of death and dying?

Do they cremate their dead? Or, how are dead bodies disposed of?

Is the family responsible for the body?

What part do the priests play?

Are there cemeteries at all?

Or, does everyone have a crypt in back with all the relatives in it?

Do people visit the dead? If so, how often and why?

Questions of suicide

What do people in this culture think about suicide?

Is it the greatest sin one can commit? Or is it a sin at all?

Is it the great and last comfort of a tormented soul?

Is it worse than murder?

Questions of Law, Justice and Police

Is there a civilian police force, or is law enforcement the province of the military?

Is the police force a nationalised one, or are there multiple regional forces?

How "military" are they? Are they usually/ever armed?

What is the extent of their authority? Can they shoot you? Can they use magic? Can they torture or otherwise force a confession? Can they use telepathy?

Are there individuals or groups who are above the law?

Not since the dark age of banking.

Is there a secret police?

Not to my knowledge.

What is the role of police informants, if any?