Characters From the Tribe:Edit
The following information is from her official guide for the tribe:
NOTE: The following documentary illuminates only ONE of the MANY, MANY possible Nizhoni (Native American) tribes in the world of Pokemon-of-Avalon. It is meant to not just give insight into the tribe that Amy Apirana comes from, but provide inspiration to members who want to create a Native American character of their own. You don’t have to slavishly follow the format I’ve written below here, after all. (Oh, and if for some reason, you want your character to be from this tribe…well, you’d have to ask me, first. I’d prefer it that you have them be from one of the offshoots of this tribe, as otherwise, Amy would already have known about them.)
Greetings, fair reader. In light of the current immigration of many new citizens to King Alaric’s new kingdom, now named Aether, we have presumed that information to understand where many of these new citizens come from would be necessary for the king and everyone else in town to look up. We have many, many new visitors whose homelands require due research, and the citizens we were able to contact for interviews with was a certain Amy Apirana Sumiura the Jigglypuff, who also had the honor of naming our previously-unnamed kingdom recently, her father, Jukidoor Apirana the Clefable, the leader of the tribe herself, Zeena Apirana, as well as various members of the tribe themselves. Based on our interviews with them, we have compiled the following information about their home tribe, the newly-renamed Pelaruna tribe.
The word “Pelaruna” means “the children of the moon whose kingdom that lasted for 1,000 years still lives on in all of us,” referring to their newly discovered heritage: That they are actually the descendants of a kingdom that lived 1,000 years ago right where Aether stands today. They used to be known as the "Hoshizora" tribe, which meant "the people of the night sky", but they changed their name about a month after Mission 2, when all of their members gained the new Fairy-typing. In fact, one of the tribe's beliefs is that names should be changed "like a pair of moccasins"; keeping the same name your whole life means that you can't adjust for new things that happen in your life, and in fact, they have an amazing ability to adapt to changing times in this way.
The tribe, as well as the kingdom of the past that their name refers to, is primarily comprised of members of the Clefairy line and the Jigglypuff line, though other species within the Fairy egg group are also (and often) adopted into the tribe for various reasons (see “Gender Ratio” below). Instead of staying still and settling in one place, the tribe is primarily semi-nomadic; wandering between a plains-like area and a mountainous area. They tend to stay in the same place from anywhere between ten days to three months at most. The number of members in the tribe tends to be kept at around 150 members, though more can be accommodated until when the tribe hits about 300, at which point the tribe will split into two halves of about equal numbers in order to not have to compete with each other too much for limited resources (see “Culture” below). The method they use to move around from place to place seems to be based on the movements of the star constellations in the night sky to help guide them, though this method is so complex that it would be utterly incomprehensible to someone who hasn't grown up in the tribe.
The people of the Pelaruna tribe believe that they once came from the moon and stars themselves, which can only be seen at night, and as it turns out, in recent events, according to what Cresselia said, this is actually true! She led them from the moon to start the original kingdom 2,000 years ago. Therefore, it is only natural that many components of their religion are based around the night sky itself. On nights of a full moon, they find a rock rumored to have come from the moon itself and dance around it all night, complete with songs, music, and festivities, in honor of this ancient legend. In addition, in this way, they pay proper tribute to the five primary gods they revere.
Three of these primary gods are known as “Cresselia”, “Jirachi”, and “Deoxys”; the entities that maintain the balance of the moon, the stars, and the cosmos, respectively. Another of their major gods has been revealed to be "Darkrai", the twin entity of Cresselia who is the embodiment of the scary things that happen in life, and one of their rituals is to put on masks of both Darkrai and Cresselia in the hope that they can make peace with both the bad and good things that happen in life. Finally, their last major god is "Zapdos", also the official patron of all Nizhoni tribes, who is also known as the "Thunder Being." He communicates to them through thunder and lightning, and while he may be scary, he helps the land, too, and those with enough experience and training, especially if they themselves have learned such moves as Thunderbolt and Thunder, can learn to understand what he is saying to them. In this polytheistic society, it is also believed that any of the five major gods, as well as any of the innumerable spirits of the land and/or their ancestors, are all equally capable of sending visions to people at times in order to guide them through life, especially during that crucial Vision Quest ritual (see “Rites of Passage” below).
They believe that all their souls are stars that have fallen from the sky, and that when they die, while their body returns to the ground, their soul travels up to return to the stars above so that they can be with their ancestors forever. In this way, since they believe all the stars in the sky are their ancestors, they know they'll never be alone, and in fact, some of these stars can descend to the earth as spirits to help give advice to the living if they were to stop and listen.
Because of their nomadic lifestyle, members of the Hoshizora Tribe have housing structures that are easily to quickly set up or take down as necessary. Known as “teepees”, they consist of four or five long tree branches (or even tree trunks for Clefable and Wigglytuff members of the tribe) that stand up and converge with each other near their tips, supporting each other and providing a structure for a thick hide blanket to be draped over top. These hide blankets tend to be decorated with paintings representing either the family who lives inside, scenes from their lore, or both.
The members of the Pelaruna tribe do value peace and harmony, and when conflicts do arise, they do whatever they can to resolve them...even if it involves official combat known as "duels", at least between the women, anyway. (Men are encouraged to solve conflicts in a more peaceful manner.) They are a very tight-knit community, and for them, they have the easiest time maintaining relations with a maximum of 150 people at a time, which is why that number is the average tribe size. They make decisions by way of tribal consensus; even the tribal leader is voted upon this way. They also do not believe in capital punishment when disciplining children and each other, as another of their core values is to never break the person’s spirit. If one person does something cruel, everyone in the village will stop speaking to him or her, and if the person does not reform themselves, they face expulsion or harsh punishment, depending on their gender (see "Government" below).
Method of Greeting:
People can easily bow, or wave and saying hi, but a more common gesture they make when showing respect to an important person, such as the tribal leader, involves drawing a five-point-star in midair in front of the person, saying, “May the moon and stars shine upon your future.” The other person will usually respond with another star sign, replying with, "And may the light of the universe guide you to your own." And then THAT person bows. Of course, this is only when being respectful; very close friends often skip these steps altogether.
It is considered the norm in Pelaruna tribal society to, instead of being reserved, to celebrate the uniqueness of every individual, and as such, the members are encouraged to not feel restrained when speaking and be as enthusiastic as possible. Their behavior might be what we call "loony" and they themselves "lunatics", but they do not see it that way. In fact, they view more reserved behavior as strange. Their speech patterns are typically very casual to each other, using lots of exclamations and contractions, and only reserve formal speech for official tribal rituals and when talking to the tribal leader.
There is typically only one tribal leader at a time, and she is chosen via charisma, consensus vote, and/or shininess, as the government of the tribe is a meritocracy. This leader's duties include guiding the tribe where to travel next, solving conflicts between tribal members, initiating rituals, and making strategies when enemies attack. She is almost always the oldest female, and often has a few advisers (often those she is training to help take her place after her death) to help give second opinions and advice. Anything the tribal leader says goes, and anyone who continues to disobey her is either banished from the tribe (for females) or punished harshly (for males). When the current leader dies, tribal consensus helps decide which of the advisers (or anyone else who's more competent than any of them) become the next leader. At the time of this writing, the current tribal leader is a shiny Clefable referred to as Lady Zeena Apirana, who also happens to be Amy's grandmother.
Members of this tribe appear to have a least a first name, but they are very secretive about this name when it comes to outsiders. They are very hesitant in revealing their true names to those outside the tribe, and some even go as far to believe that those who know their true name have power over their very souls. They prefer to use made-up names, sometimes in a style that the outsider would be used to hearing. It is only with people they truly trust above all whom they can reveal their true names to and be called as such in return. As such, it is hard to determine what kind of naming style they have, though from what we know of Amy's father Jukidoor, it is of a style far different than our own.
They also seem to use "Apirana" as a last name for all the members of the tribe, though unlike how we consider last names as nuclear family names, they use it as a tribal identification marker instead, and as such, they feel a lot more free to reveal this name to outsiders. Only their first names distinguish them from each other.
Members of this tribe tend to make their own goods, and for goods they can’t make, they primarily rely on bartering. What we would define as “money” is used as a last resort in case other goods or favors cannot be used. At least, this is all within the tribe. When making contact with tribes comprised of other species, money (in the form of assorted pebbles) is used for exchange much more often.
Tribal members primarily rely on apples, berries and other assorted plants as food that they gather when visiting an area. Any meat in their diet comes from predators that attack them first, and when the predator is killed, they are sure to not waste any part of its body. When lots of food is collected, on special occasions, the food can be cooked into specially flavored dishes comprised of assorted berries. Oftentimes, the tribe will stop by a nearby river, and it is only these occasions that they can eat fish too, though before eating any sort of meat, they always will pray to the spirits to help provide safe passage to the departed soul in order to pay their respects and thanks at how its sacrifice will not go to waste. (Also helps appease said spirit, lest it become angry and start haunting and threatening the lives of the tribal members, too.)
Because of the simple body structure of many of the members, they tend to be very simple in their fashions, though rather elaborate patterns on their fabrics can tend to counteract this. The Cleffa, Igglybuff, and Jigglypuff tend to wear simple accessories like feathers, bandannas, and face paint with simple designs, while the Clefairy, Clefable, and Wigglytuff can wear all of those mentioned before, as well as ponchos and more elaborate cloth designs. The face paint appears like it's purely for aesthetic purposes, though it is rumored that the more complex designs are to scare predators, and the simple ones consisting of two red marks on each cheek are for the purpose of masking whenever the person blushes.
It has also been revealed that there is a certain facial pattern that is only put on by women who challenge either each other or an outsider to a "Death Match", primarily spurred upon when their loved ones' lives have been threatened. When wearing this facial pattern, they're not allowed to shed any tears and must never waver in their resolve until either party is killed.
There is actually a wide variety of activities that members of the tribe can participate in, so boredom is almost never an issue. From such extroverted, multi-people activities as sparring, partying, singing, dancing, competitions at all of the above, dance marathons, etc., to introverted, single-person activities as drawing, painting, tailoring, and basket-weaving, this tribe has something to offer for everyone. The extroverted activities seem to be more popular due to the tribe's heavy emphasis on socialization, but introverts won't be looked down upon either. (...Or at least, not much, says Amy.)
Because of the 3-to-1 gender ratio of women to men overall, women hold positions of power and family lineages are traced through the woman's side. Despite that, though, men are respected too. In fact, quite a bit since they're rare by comparison, and this is another reason as to why others species from the Fairy egg group are often adopted into the tribe. There are many variable jobs that the members can hold regardless of gender, depending entirely on their skills, personalities, interests, and spirit guardian who appears to them during their Vision Quest (see “Rites of Passage” below). Amy Apirana, for example, is a master tailor, while her mother, Jukeen Apirana, is a respected warrior.
It has been revealed that, while anyone can theoretically hold any job, culturally, there are certain pressures. Most women are encouraged to be warriors, while most men are encouraged to take up any job as long as it was as far away from danger as possible. They do NOT allow men to defend the tribal borders, hunt, or become warriors unless there are absolutely no other options. For one, there are more than enough surplus women for those jobs. For another, and more importantly, is that because there are so few men, the tribe can't afford to let their men die, lest the entire tribe is led to extinction. Exceptions are made for members of species that are male-only or more skewed towards males, though the rates of such species being adopted into the tribe are rare since none of those species fall in the Fairy egg group.
Typically, parents and grandparents of a prospective couple do the matchmaking and pick out suggestions for a person’s first date, but if that doesn’t work out, then the person is allowed to pick whomever they like from then on. The couple is allowed to talk to each other about each other’s likes, dislikes, aspirations, etc., though never too far enough away from the tribe where no one can see them.
It is generally expected that after only 1-3 dates that the two of them decide upon whether they want to marry each other or not. When one of them does, it is typically the woman who initiates the proposal by handing her beloved a blue feather before asking. But before this can even be done, the woman has to get permission from her beloved's mother whether it's okay or not for her to propose, and whatever the mother says is usually the final word.
The 3-to-1 gender ratio of women to men means that if there were nothing but traditional exclusive marriages allowed, 2/3 of the population of women would be left without a partner. There appear to be many methods the tribe uses to compensate for this, including polygamy, allowing men of other species in the same egg group into the tribe, allowing women to marry other women, and giving those 2/3 of women such important jobs as taking care of their family’s many children, guarding the borders of the tribe from predators, and having them become masters of certain skills necessary to help the tribe survive. There is also considerable cultural pressure to for a person to NOT endure an abusive spouse, and thus, both women and men are equally able to call for a divorce if necessary.
Weddings are typically held only one or two weeks after the two people decide to get married. As another special occasion, it's one where the whole tribe shows up to participate in song, dance, and much feasting. When the two come to marry, the tribal leader herself serves as our equivalent of a clergyman, initiating and carrying the ritual out until the couple agrees to marry. It is one of the few times in the tribe where everyone is completely solemn and silent. After the ceremony, there is much partying while the couple is left to themselves.
Rite of Passage:
At the age of 16, all girls (no boys) are required to participate in a ritual known as their “Vision Quest”, which they are prepared for several years in advance. On this Vision Quest, after a period of fasting, they adventure out alone into the wilderness for as long as it takes for them to receive a vision from any of the three gods they worship. As soon as that happens, they go back to the village (or find it if it has already moved away from the location where it was when the individual went on their journey), and when they return, their vision is interpreted by the Medicine Person. Once they are aware of the path that they should follow in life, they are considered an adult and fully integrated into the tribe, where they are then allowed to date and marry. It is not at all unusual for some quests to take only 24 hours, while others take days, weeks, months, or sometimes even years, as in the case of Amy’s, who has been away for over five years now. It is said that this is because the spirits know when the person feels that they are truly ready to rejoin society as an adult, though sometimes, other explanations include the person finding another place where the spirits tell them they truly belong, or they are drowned, killed by predators, accidentally fall into a trap, etc. This is considered the most important test that will ever be held in a person’s life.
It has also been rumored that there is a more sinister reason behind why this test is only for girls and not boys: To help reduce the unbalanced 3-to-1 gender ratio by only allowing the strongest/most clever girls to return as adults to the tribe in order to reduce dating competition. This is the one thing that no one in the tribe likes to talk about, as they feel that despite how harsh it is on the individuals, it is necessary in order to maintain harmony in the tribe by minimizing the number of disputes. Amy suspects that she herself is most likely one of those who would be eliminated by such a ritual, but she had survived long enough to stumble upon our fair kingdom of Aether, and we can all agree that we are grateful for such a thing.
For Cleffa and Igglybuff, because they are encouraged to socialize and interact with all the other tribal members from a very young age, they tend to evolve anywhere within the first five to thirteen years of life. (Those few who don’t evolve by the time they reach the age of 16 tend to run away to other tribes during their Vision Quest and don’t return unless they decide they want to evolve after all.) For Clefairy and Jigglypuff, whether they want to evolve or not is a very personal decision, as once one evolves, one cannot go back. Those who wish to evolve tend to be placed in the center of the Moon Rock Ceremony on top of the moon rock itself, where they tend to evolve after the ceremony is over if they stay the whole time and remain firm in their resolve to do so.
At the same time, however, Moon Stones are rare items in short supply, and as such, they are typically reserved for the most powerful and seasoned warrior women who already have perfected their movesets and need the extra strength. It is very rare for a male to receive a Moon Stone, though it seems that a good enough reason such as "increased endurance for being the Master of Ceremonies throughout the entire night" will suffice, if Amy's father Jukidoor is any indicator.
Though this was all the information we could discover, there is certain to be more. As always, we are constantly on the lookout for the most detailed, accurate information in our records, and will periodically update this documentary as we find out more. Thank you for reading!