Ànradh wrote:What subjects are taboo for every day discourse? Are these subjects likely to be discussed in private with close associates, or not even then?
Among Daine, something would have to be pretty serious for it to be a tabu subject. Certainly the details of a rape or suicide or the specifics of a child born of a rape would be tabu for ordinary conversation. These events are either symptoms or sequellae of very serious and deep spiritual illness. Close family might know and talk about these things from time to time, but they're not for ordinary luncheon discussion.
Is gallantry with women considered polite or insulting...
Gallantry per se would be considered insulting (to both parties), yet Daine do indeed exhibit these kinds of behaviours yet are misunderstood by Men (who generally speaking see such behaviour towards women as a mark of good upbringing and social grace).
Among Men, if a gentleman places his cloak on the shoulders of a woman because it's a chilly night, other men will esteem him because he's behaving in a gentlemanly fashion. On the other hand, if they saw a Daine girl place her cloak upon the shoulders of a boy because it's a chilly night, those same other men would alternately scorn the boy for taking the woman's cloak or (privately, at least) praise him for training her very well indeed and might also think ill of the girl for behaving unlike a gentlewoman.
Now, among Daine, they would, if they understood Men's behaviour, consider it very odd and somewhat demeaning. It's a kind of socially demeaning task that's not done for any purpose other than to show everyone else how gallant and gentlemanly one is. According to Daine behaviour, it's considered good and right for anyone, girl or boy, to exercise "gallantry" with anyone else, boy or girl. So, they have no issue with a girl giving a boy her cloak; they have no issue with a boy opening a door for a girl; they have no issue with mixed couples sharing tasks or doing small acts of that sort for each other. They understand these as acts of love & compassion. They esteem such acts done for the right reason above others.
how did you manage body decorations in your conculture...
Daine manage body decoration very well, if I do say so! Unless worn for protection, clothing is just not considered particularly needful. But Daine áre more than happy to wear some articles of clothing as decoration. This gives them rather large canvasses upon which to creatively express themselves.
Clothing as Decoration
--- light, brightly printed fabrics are favoured. Silks, fine linen, fine woolens. Fur. A Daine will usually wear little more than a raka
, which is kind of like a sarong. If the cloth is plain, it will generally be woven of many colours; patterned weaving is very popular; embroidery is also popular. Plain cloth may also be block printed or inked or dyed. The raka is a basic decoration. It can be worn all around the body, held up by a belt; it can be worn off one hip, leaving the other exposed; it can be worn around the neck fastened by a brooch; it can be draped across the shoulders like a cape or draped over the wing-elbows.
Made and Natural Articles as Decoration
--- Daine love metal decorations: rings for fingers are not favoured, but rings for toes, rings for wrists and arms, rings for ankles, those they love to fashion. Chains for neck, wrist, ankle or knee. Cuffs for arms, ears and wing-arms. Plain or decorated bands; twisted wire; filigree. Best metal is silver; then bronze or copper; then gold. Eisensilver & platinum are also well liked. Naturally occurring gems --- crystals, geodes, coloured river pebbles (glacial). Shells, horn, antler, teeth, tusks, ivory, hair, feathers. Fascinators, headdresses, arm and ankle bands made from leather, beads and deathers; necklaces of teeth and carved ivory and raw gems. Garlands and posies made from flowers, vines, small fruits or nuts, those are always in fashion.
Temporary Ink as Decoration
--- Daine live a very long time and long ago discovered that tattoos that begin to fade away after a century or two are so not it. Their answer is marrenderri
, a technique much like henna application. This is a very skilled and time consuming art, and depending on how much of your body you want inked, and how intricate the designs, you might spend a good couple days at it. Fine designs of leaves, vines, berries, flowers, swooping tendrils --- those they like best. Paisley-like geometric patterns, those are okay. Patterns that look like filigree or beads, they like those, too.
Permanent Ink as Decoration
--- Permanent ink is almost always reserved for ritual decoration. A clan tattoo is often placed on the right shoulder blade or at the base of the neck. Some married couples (and triples) will have a small tattoo placed along the breast bone. Sometimes warriors or hunters will sport a totem of some kind on the left shoulder or chest.
Hair and Feathers
--- Daine (of the Tana kindred at least) are well known for the length of their hair. They almost never cut it (those of the Eastlands are more likely to), but do like to do it up in complex braids. Some braids are very tiny, perhaps only a couple dozen hairs and are very amenable to decoration with beads and bright bird feathers. Topknots are favoured by some, usually girls, and these will often be decorated with long carved bone or wood hair sticks. Turghun hair, in contrast, is heavy and thick and grows in tightly matted rope-like locks. Their hair molts every couple years in Fall, so rarely grows much longer than about shoulder or mid-back length. They do sometimes apply tints of different colours to different locks.
Next: If they have this kind of food at all, what kinds of foods do your folks eat as snacks?