Katapaki

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The Katapaki were the Kataputi-speaking inhabitants of the Hazāka coastal plain at the southern end of the Tagimī, the Great Bay of eastern Tuysáfa. Originating in the hills south of the Wohata plain (Kat. Wēhata), they migrated eastward along the coast in the late second millennium BP, and developed one of the most urbanised cultures in Tuysáfa over the next thousand years.

In this article, Kataputi terms are used; translations into other Akanaran languages are given where appropriate.

Background

Introduction

By the start of the Iron Age, the Katapaki were a thriving urban culture inhabiting the Hazāka coastal plain and the adjacent slopes of the Tidika mountains. They were not politically unified – instead, their society comprised a collection of small, competing city-states (higadamu) – but they shared a common language and cultural basis, and although the most important loyalty was to the city, they identified as a single group distinct from (and more refined than) neighbouring peoples.

Geography and climate

Main article: Hazāka

Predecessors

The original inhabitants of the Hazāka were settled agriculturalists speaking a Macro-Anatolionesian language. The climate and fertile soil allowed significant populations to develop even in the neolithic; this, combined with the relative ease of travel, fostered the development of trade, the development of cities, and the adoption of bronze working.

Some time before -1000 YP, the forerunners of the Katapaki migrated eastward from the southern Wēhata; the exact reasons for this are not currently well understood but may be linked to overpopulation. The Anatolionesian exodus was already underway and the remaining population in the Hazāka was effectively absorbed, passing on their way of life to the newcomers. The Katapaki remembered their forerunners as Waduda; in time they faded into legend.

Society

Intensive rice cultivation and fishing formed the basis for a large and stratified Katapaki population. A significant proportion lived in the cities (higada) although the majority lived in villages and hamlets (wāmuduka; the word referred to any settlement without a sovereign ruler) in the hinterland. The Katapaki had a strong inclination towards forming communities, and isolated dwellings were very unusual except in the Tidika.

Social structure

The lowest class were the slaves (zgaza), who lacked any rank (tituniri) and were generally not ethnically Katapaki. Almost all were captured in war or traded from abroad; neither of these processes took place on a large scale, so slaves were never very numerous. They were considered property and in principle their owner exercised unlimited authority over them, although the decision to kill slaves was not taken lightly as their adaptability and relative rarity made them valuable. Many were servants, entertainers, or concubines to nobles, while those unsuitable for such purposes performed a variety of duties such as crewing ships, mining and smelting metal, and building work. The proportion of slaves in the population varied but was typically around one in fifteen, concentrated in the cities.

The vast majority of Katapaki were peasants (kīmikumi), who supported the population through farming and fishing, and undertook other manual work such as woodcutting, charcoal-burning, and mining. Though they were generally poor, they were still free citizens (titu), a status that gave them customary rights such as ownership of their own land and immunity to slavery.

Craftspeople, artisans, and traders were not clearly distinguished from the peasant class, but in practice occupied a somewhat privileged position due to their greater wealth, skills, and freedom of movement. The people of this group were known as muzaksira. Customary law barred them from the privileges of the nobility; nonetheless they were important in urban life, and served as the mainstay of day-to-day relations between cities and with other nations, whether as traders, diplomats, or spies.

Each Katapaki city-state had a number of families that together constituted the nobility (tēputa), an endogamous group that made up no more than a tenth of the population and lived almost entirely in the cities proper. They served as warriors, judges, and priests. The sovereign lord of a city, whose Kataputi title was nāgiru, always belonged to one of these families, and passed the position to his eldest son (if there were no sons, the eldest nephew was heir). When a ruler was deposed they were almost invariably replaced by the head of another noble family.

Family life

Most Katapaki lived with their immediate family until they were married (usually in their late teens, sometimes in their twenties) after which they started their own households. The extended family usually lived in the same village or neighbourhood, which allowed elders to be taken care of by their children. However, in order to limit the level of inbreeding, it was usual to marry outside the village; the woman would almost always move to her new husband's home.

Children were typically raised by their mothers when very young, as frequent pregnancies led most women to stay at home. As they grew older they learned to join in with adults' work, which would usually be preparing food and making clothes with their mothers, or farm work or crafting with their fathers. (Women could do work on farms, ships, and mines, but were excluded from forge work. Conversely sewing and cooking were regarded as distinctly unmanly; butchery was acceptable.)

Sex before marriage was discouraged for practical reasons: children were expected to have a proper family upbringing, and any unmarried woman who got pregnant would be married off in a hurry and to the father if possible. Adultery was taken extremely seriously, as it not only threatened social cohesion but was also considered to be deeply offensive to the ancestors, and usually led to the accused being thrown out of the village. Meanwhile, same-sex relationships were not especially disapproved of, and indeed were considered relatively harmless before marriage – provided that they did not prevent people settling down to start families, or lead to extramarital affairs.

Names

Katapaki personal names were mostly transparent derivatives of Kataputi words, often formed through compounding. Noun-noun compounds were the usual formation, but verb-noun compounds were also common; in either case the bare stems were usually used. Almost any element could be occur in a name, but the choice was affected by gender. Masculine names usually referenced light, strength, and animals, while feminine names referred to beauty, fertility, and the earth.
Three suffixes occurred almost exclusively in names: -wu/-ːnu/-ːmu in masculine names, and -miri/-ːmiri/-ːmiri in feminine names, were both used to derive names from a single nominal root, while -dī/-tī/-tī derived names of either gender from a verb. (The allomorphs are for class I/II/III roots; -wu takes the weak stem, while -miri and -dī take the strong stem. All of these decline as class I.)

Names declined as regular nouns. They could belong to any of the three declensions, but never had weak or intermediate forms.

Example masculine names:

  • Hūmu – "Wolf"
  • Miramaza – "Sun-friend"
  • Tiharū – "Horse-omen"

Example feminine names:

  • Rīnidī – "Laughing"
  • Nadzuti – "Flower-voice"
  • Magāmiri – "Seed"

Noble names were formed in a similar way, but were preceded by the oblique plural of the family name (which commoners lacked). For instance, a man called Naratī ("Burning") who was a nember of the Hēmu would have the full name Hēmuni Naratī. Family names were typically less transparent in their meaning, and it is believed that they often derived from the adoption of older Macro-Anatolionesian names or totems.

Religion

The most important principle in Katapaki belief was the existence of hukawi, the spirit world, in parallel with miragawi, the material world of Akana. The spirit world was inhabited by spirits called hu, among which the gods and the ancestors held special importance. The two worlds were inextricably linked, and those with authority (suka) in each world could influence the other: the gods, as well as sufficiently strong ancestors and lesser spirits, could guide natural events or alter the fortune of living people, and in turn powerful mortals could gain favour (midi) in the spirit world.

The gods (hutagu) were the most powerful inhabitants of the spirit realm. Each was considered to have power over a particular area of nature, either geographic, thematic, or both – but this was not intrinsic, and could be gained or lost through the actions of a god and their popularity among other spirits or mortals. Indeed, the rise and fall of gods was a major theme in Katapaki mythology. The mutable nature of the gods and their domains also contributed to differences of opinion between the different cities: for instance, belief in a storm deity was universal, but there was a great deal of argument over their identity and attributes. Changes in the fortunes of cities were believed to mirror developments in the spirit world and in this way gods could gain (or lose) recognition and worshippers.

The ancestors (tutawu) were believed to be less powerful than the gods but more directly connected with the affairs of humans, and were therefore more accessible. The Katapaki took care to ensure that the dead were buried properly so they would be comfortable in the spirit world and helpful to their living relatives. As well as affecting the material world directly, it was thought that the ancestors could also petition the gods to take a given action, in a similar way to mortals petitioning their lords. In exceptional cases a chiefly ancestor might even be deified.

The view of other spirits varied, but they were always believed to be limited in the scope and extent of their powers. A lesser spirit might be associated with a particular location, a tool, an animal, a person's moods, or any number of other minor concerns. As such they had to be shown respect or they would do their best to cause trouble; a run of minor bad luck was usually blamed on an offended spirit.

Ritual

The division of the spirit world by rank and power not only reflected the human social order, but had important implications for how religion was actually practiced by the Katapaki.

The lord of a city was not just a political or military leader but also a spiritual one. As the most powerful person in the state, he had the strongest influence with the gods, and was expected to intercede with them (suksuzi) through rituals in order to obtain their favour or appease them in case of disaster. Accordingly, the regalia (hanazu) of the city were both the lord's mark of office and his ritual paraphernalia, and only he could use (or in some cities, even touch) them; these usually took the form of a pair of symbolic items, most commonly weapons, and were almost always made of gold or bronze.

The Katapaki would agree that a lord's great power came with great responsibility, and if misfortune fell on the city he was expected to sort the matter out by appeasing the gods as well as by leading any material efforts (such as military campaigns). If these failed to work, he was liable to be deposed and usually also ritually executed; the head of another noble family would be chosen as the new lord.

These expectations and obligations generally meant that lords had to be reasonably capable and popular (or at least lucky), and this helped maintain social stability. It did however have its weak points. For instance, a pious lord could be manipulated to devote much of his time to ritual and prayer rather than other duties, allowing other elements of the nobility to exercise power in his place. In another example, periods of exceptionally bad circumstances for a city could result in rulership being seen as something to be avoided at all costs, and tended to foster an atmosphere of paranoia and backstabbing among the nobility as they tried not to get saddled with the position. (Needless to say, this was often counterproductive.)

Popular spirituality

The peasants and tradespeople were involved with the lords' civic rituals as audiences and by providing offerings; however, their day-to-day worship was somewhat distinct. They believed in the same gods, ancestors, and other spirits, but treated them quite differently.

Most Katapaki felt that the gods were somewhat distant figures, so they devoted more attention to the ancestors and lesser spirits, who were believed to be more likely to take an interest in ordinary people. Brief prayers and supplications to the spirits were made when undertaking a significant action – there were short prayers to be made when planting a new field, slaughtering an animal, preparing for a battle, purifying a person who had touched a dead body, and so on. All of these were believed to keep the spirits friendly and prevent misfortune. If a specific outcome was desired, peasants were more likely to appeal to their ancestors in the hope that they would either help their heirs directly or act as intermediaries with the gods.

The only commoners who were expected to receive direct revelations from the spirit world and the gods were the māzamu, a word that translates roughly as "shamans" or "oracles". Shamans could be identified in a number of ways: they might experience visions and receive omens () through mind-altering drugs, or as a result of mental conditions (such as dissociative disorders), or simply have uncanny guessing ability. In any case they were set somewhat apart from the rest of society; though they often did the same work as other commoners, custom prevented them from gaining wealth or fine clothing, and they were more likely to live alone or in remote areas. It was felt that unlike the lords, the shamans had necessarily lost some of their connection with the material world in order to become more attuned to the spirits.

Particularly vivid, symbolic dreams or hallucinations experienced by a commoner who was not a shaman might be interpreted as an exceptional vision from the spirit world. However, this was just as likely to be a bad omen as a good one.

Governance

The religious duties of a lord strengthened his remit in other areas, allowing him to give orders to his subjects and expect them to be followed.

As part of his duty to ensure prosperity and the favour of the gods, the lord could order the construction of public works such as temples, walls, roads, and harbours. His divine inspiration made him the supreme arbitrator in case of disputes between his subjects. He also accumulated wealth and prestige directly through civic rituals. After the harvest and at certain other times, the citizens were expected to present offerings to the gods through the lord's ceremonies, and though a portion was burnt or otherwise sacrificed the majority of offerings ended up in the hands of the lord, allowing him to use or distribute them personally.

The lord (and to a lesser extent, the rest of the nobility) also represented war in the eyes of the populace. A lord was expected to lead, or at the very least be personally present in, every major campaign, and could greatly increase his prestige if he commanded courageously and successfully. Other members of the nobility could show their prowess and gain favour serving as commanders and élite troops. This encouraged relatively frequent but minor wars between cities, punctuated by occasional expeditions and campaigns against non-Katapaki peoples.

In practice the lord's authority was exercised with the help of the rest of the nobility and especially his immediate family. Trusted sons and nephews, as possible heirs, were frequently delegated tasks such as leading skirmishes, organising peasants, or judging disputes, and this was accepted as right and proper provided that they did not claim to be acting on direct divine guidance.

Though the lack of a real writing system hindered the development of any legal code per se, the weight of custom (nagi) both preserved the rights of each rank and limited their powers. A key example was that a lord could not readily evict his peasant subjects nor force them to leave the fields during planting or harvest – if he did so without a clear and exceptional reason he would face rebellion. Another important custom was that no Katapaki could enslave another.

The concept of power

Kataputi has three words that roughly translate to the English word "power", and the distinction between the three is significant for understanding the Katapaki mindset. These are riha, hatikazi, and suka.

Riha is best translated as "strength" or "brawn". It described physical strength and muscle, and was considered a beneficial quality that anyone could have (including peasants and even women).
Hatikazi was the closest to English "power", and implied strength of will and influence over others but also physical ability in a way that could be decribed as "might". This was very much a noble quality.
Suka meant, broadly speaking, "authority", but (even more than the Latin auctoritas) this was in as much a spiritual or mystical sense as a political one, meaning not only ruling over mortals but also being able to make power felt in the spirit world. It was particular to the lord of a city – or to someone with their eye on the lordly regalia.

Though these concepts were linked, their separation helped maintain the rather lofty position of the nobility and especially the lord. A peasant farmer could be strong as an ox but riha did not necessarily increase his standing in society or in the spirit world. Similarly, while a lord needed to show his strength to the gods, strength of body or political influence wouldn't hurt, but it was suka that made him effective. And as noted above, a lord lacking in acumen could be persuaded that his subordinates could exercise their hatikazi in actually running the city-state while he devoted his time to dealing with the gods. (The truly great lords were, nonetheless, considered to be those who combined all three of these virtues.)

City-states

In the late Bronze Age, the Hazāka was dominated by seven city-states. From west to east, these were Tsukwita, Kīskinu, Pakrita, Simarī (in the Zdigi Hazāka), Skōkana (at the head of the Kukōha), Swēta, and Pinuka (in the Zēgi Hazāka). All of these were on or very close to the coast, except Kīskinu and Swēta, which were on rivers.

Material culture and economy

Food and farming

The foundation of the Katapaki economy was rice cultivation. The origins of this form of agriculture in Tuysáfa are obscure, but it is likely that they lie with the native Anatolionesian peoples. The Hazāka's mostly flat terrain and abundant water supply lend themselves well to growing semi-aquatic rice (sani), and by the late first millennium BP much of the the lowlands was covered in paddy fields (mariru) irrigated by a simple system of ditches. The fields were first cultivated with hoes (nuduzu) and other hand tools, and from the middle of the first millennium BP with ox-drawn ploughs; these were originally wood and stone although iron tools had started to appear by 0 YP.

Drier areas were sometimes used for cultivation of "upland" rice, but were usually devoted to growing vegetables and fibre crops (mainly flax) and raising animals. The main livestock animals raised by the Katapaki were cows (sina), pigs (hadi), and sheep (kahu), which were supplemented by poultry in the form of ducks (kagini) and geese (kara). Bees (rūma) were kept for honey (). The Katapaki also had domesticated dogs () and horses (tiha); the former were kept for hunting and as guard animals, while horses were owned and ridden almost exclusively by the nobility.

The sea and rivers provided the other key source of food for the Katapaki. The relatively calm waters of the Tagimī were easily navigated in small boats, which had been used for fishing by Anatolionesians since the Neolithic, and their techniques were adopted wholesale by the Katapaki. Fish were caught using nets (waha), while bone hooks (rugu) were used for catching shellfish such as crabs (kigadi) and lobsters (tidaru), and clams and oysters (hawī) were collected at low tide. Evaporation pans were also constructed in some areas, producing salt (hini) to be traded inland.

A Katapaki peasant's diet would consist primarily of boiled rice, supplemented by vegetables, fruits, and fish. Nobles had a richer and more complex diet, including rice bread (higi), a much larger amount of red meat and poultry, and luxuries such as cakes (titi) and honey.

Clothing

As the Katapaki lived in a warm climate, and were mostly farmers or fisherfolk, clothing tended to be simple. The prototypical item of clothing was a pair of loose drawstring trousers (kāzugi), usually worn over a short loincloth; although the term kīmikumi literally means "no top", most women (even peasants) did also wear a simple halterneck top or bodice (kumi) tied at the back, resembling the terrestrial yếm. In colder weather a shirt (hātugi) was added, and a loose coat or cloak (saduki) might sometimes be worn for extra protection from the weather. Peasants usually went barefoot, while most tradesfolk and other city-dwellers wore leather shoes (muni).

Clothes worn by the nobility were broadly similar to, but considerably more elaborate than, commoners' outfits: multiple layers were often worn, the cloth used was woven with decorative patterns, and winter clothes might be embellished with fur trim. Noble women were more likely to wear dresses (kumīmu) instead of a bodice and trousers. The most characteristic feature of noble dress was metal jewelry, a luxury customarily forbidden to Katapaki commoners – gold or bronze rings (kimu) were especially popular, although necklaces (kuzāmini) and bracelets were also common.

Trade

The small size of the Hazāka, combined with its position, encouraged contact between the Katapaki and neighbouring peoples. Trade contact along the coast was easy and constant, and although the Tidika mountains present a considerable obstacle to travel, a small number of passes allow the crossing to be made in good weather.

The Katapaki produced a variety of trade goods. The slopes of the Tidika were mined for copper and precious stones, and were the main source of timber, while the rivers themselves were panned for gold. Agricultural produce such as rice, mead, wine, and dried fruit came from the lowlands alongside pottery and other crafts, and the coast was exploited for shells, salt, and pearls. Within the Hazāka, these were often transported by river, especially downriver from the south to the densely populated coast.

The main trade routes ran northwest along the coast to the Wohata (Kat. Wēhata), and northeast across the bay to the islands (Kat. Kānitagu, local Zbur Zubrik). Both of these areas were agricultural and fairly densely populated, though not quite to the level of the Hazāka, and were sufficiently wealthy for regular trade to be viable. The Katapaki were principally interested in horses from the Wohata, and in spices, coral, and cork from the islands.

Trade with the Katapaki's other neighbours was less intensive. Jouki (Kat. Gōki) was more rural and slower to develop intensive agriculture, and therefore a less attractive market, but supplied some timber and other materials to the Katapaki; it was also significant for developing terraced fields, which were introduced to the Hazāka in the late first millennium BP. Some contact with the Tɛnto (Kat. Tētu) occurred across the mountains, but this was limited by the difficulty of travel and the lack of trade goods available.

Also important, though small in volume, was trade with the islands of Kyosshin and Ōshin (Kat. Kōsima, Wōsima). In the latter part of the first millennium BP, population growth and warfare between chiefdoms sparked a new period of voyages by the island Anatolionesians, whom the Katapaki knew as the Hawuhū. By -200 YP Ōshinese adventurers had re-established regular contact with the mainland and brought with them the techniques of iron smelting.

Warfare

Small-scale battles between cities were common in the Hazāka. Most of these were matters of honour, intended to settle otherwise intractable arguments or to increase the prestige of the victor and his gods, and in these cases a large proportion of the actual fighting was done by nobles (though they would always be accompanied by commoners under their command). Territorial changes were small or non-existent; rather, the victor would be able to assert a measure of authority over the defeated side, and could demand tribute as offerings to his gods.

Larger wars involving alliances of cities were rare; they could be internecine, or be waged on neighbouring peoples. In either case they required mobilisation of the peasantry – as a result of which such wars were limited to the winter, or to brief campaigns in high summer between the planting and harvesting. These were wars of conquest, in which cities were subdued, slaves were captured, and, sometimes, the sphere of Katapaki influence was increased. Very occasionally a successful campaign would result in a new city being founded, with the mother cities sending noble families to rule and peasants to settle the land.

Peasants invariably served as infantry, mostly armed with spears (kūdiga). A proportion would be equipped with bows (haki), and some might wear padded or quilted armour (kruza), or use shields (katsira). In the early period, little effort was expended on troop discipline, but it became increasing common for cities to field blocks or phalanxes of spearmen in pitched battles.

Nobles had access to a much greater choice of equipment than the commoners. They could wield swords (tigzigi), and wore heavier armour, which was usually leather but might be bronze for the very wealthy. They also had the option of fighting on horseback; the idea of cavalry was still in its infancy at the time of this description, but despite the simple equipment available – saddles and stirrups were unknown – it was possible to fight effectively with javelins and swords. Some of the western cities fielded cavalry archers in pairs: one man shot a bow while the other, riding beside him, held his horse's reins.