Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Meet the Tribes of Fahdamin-Ra: The Jabulani

The Jabulani tribe is one of the three original tribes of Fahdamin-Ra. When the first Creator, Obasi, made the people for the tribe that he brought to life, he shaped them out of clay, so the Jabulani are most comfortable living by the river. They have rounded, pleasant features and are mostly stocky. They find eyebrows distracting so all of the people in the tribe shave or pluck out their eyebrows, which (they think) gives them a smoother look.

The Jabulani love color. That is why they love to make fabric in bright colors and patterns. They commonly have headwraps or hats that are one pattern, a shirt that is another, and a skirt that is a third, unrelated pattern and/or color. I say skirt, because both men and women wear skirts and short sleeved or sleevless tops. Women wear headwraps (the larger the better) and men wear smaller headwraps or hats. Girls and boys are generally bareheaded until they get into their late teens. Men and women alike also dye their lips all sorts of colors, usually their favorite.

The Jabulani are governed by a group of women called the Becca. The leader is the History Teller, who has the important job of remembering the tribal history. It is an important job because the members of the tribe don't read or write, but have amazing memories. The History Teller trains other women and girls to remember and recite the tribal history as well, in case something happens to her.

Another member of the Becca is the Singer Poet. She composes songs, especially to the Mother Creator, and ususally leads the worship at dawn and the second service at sunset. The sun represents their god, who the Jabulani believe created the world and the other creators, including Obasi. The Jabulani have poems and songs for every occasion, from celebrating the harvest, weddings, births, deaths, and every occasion in between.

The Animal Guardian is another Becca that supervises the animals that belong to the tribe. No one person owns an animal. It is a busy job, because the Jabulani have dogs, sheep, and ducks. The Animal Guardian makes sure all of the animals are healthy and fed. She shears the sheep so that the tribe can use the wool to make rugs and blankets, and for wool to weave with linen so they have warmer, water resistant clothing when the weather becomes rainy and cooler. She collects the right amount of eggs from the ducks for the tribe, so that they have them to eat but so there are enough left to hatch. She trains dogs to guard the sheep, and when a dog gets too old to do that, she goes to the savannah and calls the wild Wolofo dog pack, selecting a puppy to take back to the tribe.

The Farming Guardian oversees the plowing of the fields and growing of the crops, which the Jabulani do together. She rotates the crops, deciding what will be planted where, and oversees the fertizing and weeding. She also knows where to gather fruit and other things that grow wild, and when they are ripe and ready to pick.

The last Becca is the Artist Teacher. All the Jabulani weave, dye, and sew their own clothes, makes their own pottery, and weaves their own baskets. She teaches all the tribe how to do those things. She and her apprentices have the job of taking a person's body when they die and encasing it in clay, sculpting the outside to resemble the person. After the clay dries and they fire it and glaze it, the statue is ready to be put in the graveyard, standing where it can face the rising sun.

The Jabulani women tend to be loud, talkative, and outgoing. The men tend to be quiet and easy going. All the Jabulani love children, and children missing a parent are especially pitied and rather spoiled. Orphans are usually adopted by someone who has not had a chold of their own. The older people of the tribe watch over the little children, helped by children that are pre-teens and younger.

The tribe thinks of themselves as a large family, calling each other "aunt", "uncle", "brother", and "sister". The women live in a hut with their little children and their daughters, while their husbands live next door with their sons. The tribe cooks their two meals a day together and generally shares everything. There is very little privacy, and even their huts have openings with no doors. If you are outgoing and like women running everything, this is the tribe for you!

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