Ihhai

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Ihhai is a landlocked nation to the north of Paba that survived for around 21000 years. Historically it was part of Nama, but today it is part of the Moonshine Crown, which itself part of Pusapom but is self-gvoerning. Thus ity could be said thatIhhai is more independent today than it was at the apex of its power as one of the major nations of Nama. However, that was around the year 2700 AD when the rest of the world was erupting with so much war that even Ihhai at its best could barely hold on to its own territory.

Geography and climate

Repilia has a cold climate. In the highlands of Kimbiyet are the southernmost glaciers on the continent, at about 35N. Even the lowlands around 38N are too cold to support agriculture, with average summer temperatures in the upper 50s Fahrenheit.

Culture

Ihhai was part of a group of nations in Nama referred to collectively as Repilians. They had split off around the year 18000 BC from the ancestors of the Gold people and had been living in nations roughly similar to what existed in the year 1500 AD for the preceding 13,000 years. Thus, all of the Repilian nations were very old. This was because they were both pacifistic and reluctant to explore outisde territories. Repilia had no reaction when settlers from the other side of the ocean began arriving just to their south around the year 500 AD.

Paba began as a fishing colony in Tamusur Bay in the year 633 AD and worked its way northward, killing many Ahekuqhi aboriigns as they went. They conquered enormous amounts of land in a very short time, but stopped fighting when they reached Ihhai and did not try to advance into Ihhai territory. The Ihhai people did not threaten Paba, and at the same time, Ihhai people seemed to be much more powerful than the aboriginal coimmunities that Paba had dealt with in the past. Paba thus admired Ihhai and wanted to form an alliance. Thaoa did likewise.

The Ihhai were largely enemies of Paba's old aboriginal Ahekuqhi people anyway, and even though Ihhai was very strong it was a pacifist nation and did not want to fight a war against even a weak, insect-like nation such as Ahekuqhi. Paba's soldiers had cleared out the Ahekuqhi people, save for a few Ahekuqhi who chose to convert to Yiibam, the Pabap religion, and mostly marry into Pabap families. Paba was now friendly to Ihhai, which meant that Ihhai for the first time in 21000 years had an ouutlet to the south coast, and could be enriched by trade with not only Paba, but the rest of the world.

Dried fish were sent upriver from the ocean as food, and several species of fish that were cold enough to survive in Ihhai were also transported in metallic fish tanks so that Ihhai could populate its lakes with more nutritious food fish. The climate is generally cold, despite being at around 29N, because Ihhai is mostly mountains. A broad, flat valley in far eastern Ihhai does experience warm wather, only 1F colder than the capital of Paba at the warmest point, but Ihhai settlement is not significantly denser here than in the cold mountains because the Ihhai are not generally an agricultural people and thus cannot efficiently use that land.

Demographics

Most of the population of Ihhai has historically been Repilian people, and it is only the Repilian people who call themselves "Ihhai". Living in the lowlands, however, are found some Zenith people, who are political allies of the Repilians but culturally immisicible with them. They are not tied to the land they live on, and frequently cross into neighboring nations such as Paba or Thaoa to hunt for food. Thus they do not call themselves Ihhai people.

One tribe of Ihhai people is known as Bačon.

Physical appearance

Repilians have always stood out sharply from their neighbors to the south in their very different physical appearance. South of the mountains, the aboriginal population was very dark skinned, whereas Repilians had moderate skin tones. When the typically blonde, blue-eyed, and very light-skinned Pabap people settled the south coast and surpassed the aboriginals early on, the Repilians stood out from these people as well.

More noticeable than skin color, however, was the fact that Repilian women were reliably taller than Repilian men. Other tribes of humans had developed this trait as well, but the Repilian height gap was the largest of all. The average adult Repilian man stood no higher than his wife's armpits, and many were shorter than this. Furthermore, Repilian men tended to be thin as well, unlike the muscular body types of many other tribes. Thus, Repilian women were physically stronger than their men and were expected to protect them in times of danger.

Gender relations in early Repilian society

Because Repilian men were so small, Repilian women generally did not worry about being raped or attacked by men. A woman attacked by an average man could simply knock him unconscious and move on as if nothing had happened. However, a side effect of the inability of men to rape women was that they instead often raped other men, and in many cases, children. Thus Repilian society was plagued by a very high rate of child rape.

Repilians considered their anatomy to be normal, but they were aware even early on that no other tribe of humans had a sexual height gap as steep as theirs in either direction. Men from neighboring tribes living on the borders of Repilian society sometimes attempted to seduce Repilian women with the promise of their larger, sturdier bodies, but this did not often work well, partly because Repilian women actually preferred short men and partly because the Repilians were a fairly tall tribe in general, and even their men were taller than some of the men of the neighboring tribes.

Ihhai-Paba relations

Many Ihhai people moved into Paba in the 1900s, figuring trade with the tropics would be easier if Ihhai could put its people directly on the coast and not have to deal with moving everything through Paba. After all, much of what they bought from tropical nations like Taryte was moved on to other nations anywa rathe than staying in Ihhai. The Ihhai also used their move to the south to help out the Pabaps already living there, who previously had not dervied any of the benefits of Ihhai-Paba trade routes since they mostly went through rivers.

The Ihhai in Paba soon learned that Paba's long standing weakness was its people's anatomical differences from the peoples around them. Pabaps (especially one of their subtribes, the Andanese) were the world's smallest people, and they had happened to settle in a part of the world where most of the people around them were unusually tall. of these, the Ihhai were among the tallest of all, but unlike the other peoples neaby such as the Nik, the Tarpabaps, and the western Subumpamese, the Ihhai women were actually taller than their men, quite dramatically so. Pabap men ran away in fear when they came face-to-belly with diplomats and tourists from the nations around them, but Ihhai women wandering around Paba's city streets provided them a more comforting sight to look up to. Ihhai people were playful in general and promised a team of visiting Pabap diplmats they would celebrate their freindship by challening the Pabap men to a snowball fight after the debate was over.

Ihhai men were still taller than Pabap men, but they were very peaceful, as they faithfully obeyed their women and stayed largely indoors. Until the 1900s many of these tribes of tall people had moved into Pabap territory seeing as Paba was a very open and welcoming society, but the Ihhai had largely stayed confined to the mountains because their culture told them not to travel. The immigration into Paba was an exception and was only accomplished with Paba's invitation and diplomats visiting Ihhai to convince the Ihhai people that moving to Paba would help out both nations.

Early on Paba often called the Ihhai women saisu or saauppu.[1] Some Ihhai suspiciously figured this to be a subtle sexual reference, as both words meant "wide-hipped", as the Ihhai women had notably broad hip measurements even for their great height. But they hoped a new name would encourage Pabap men to look elswhere when they spoke to Ihhai women in close quarters. Ihhai realized that Pabaps had difficult pronouncing the name Ihhai and thus had made up alternate names, so they renamed themselves to Wamplea [2] The Pabaps found out that the name wampalia was insulting in the other direction, as it meant "babysitter", and said that the Ihhai women were making fun of them by saying that in Paba even grown men need babysitters to cart them around.

Note that despite 2000 years of contact, untiol 2700 AD the number of Ihhai women moving to Paba was very small, and they tended to have few children, so they did not become a signifcant minority until the declining fortunes in Ihhai led Ihhai to see Paba as their pillow rather than the other way around.

Ihhai-Thaoa relations

Thaoa early on saw Paba's curious relationship with Ihhai and hoped that Thaoa, too, would be able to take part in it. They had never heard of a nation sending diplomats to another nation convincing its people to move in, promising that they would be granted superior status to the natives, and seemingly getting nothing out of the deal for their own other than a few bags of salted seal meat. Thaoa was similar to Paba in many ways but did not surround themselves with tall people and their cities were almost 100% Thaoans. They realized Paba must have invited the Ihhai in for a good reason and wanted to do so themselves. Some Thaoans actually claimed that Thaoa itself was Ihhai, even though Thaoa had gotten its start by massacring thousands of people of tribes closely related to the IHhai. Ihhai rejected Thaoa, however, and began concentrating its foreign policy efforts on Paba (they were still officially part of Nama at this time, so relations with the rest of Nama's empire were not seen as foreign).

Language

See Repilian languages.

Grammar

The grammar of Ihhai was fairly similar to Babakiam and Khulls. Ihhai had grammatical gender and an absolutive-ergative noun case setup. Verbs took the majority of the inflections in a sentence, however.

Noun gender system

Ihhai's feministic culture is reflected in its gender system. Gender is marked on both nouns and verbs, and there is a category of verbs which males cannot be the agent without taking an additional marker signifying which female gave them permission to do it. This system was borrowed through cultural assimilation into the Gold language, but was a property of all animate nouns, not merely feminine nouns.

noptes

  1. Later Saes and Saboppy respectively.
  2. sic; from Babakiam fampa + īža. Also Wampaleža, Wampleža, Wampalia, Wampaliža, Wampeža.