While I am off to Neverneverland, I have decided to rerun a few of my favorite blogs. When I started blogging, it was for the discipline of writing every day. I have come to realize my pretty pictures are not the best in SL by any means, but I try to make my writing creative and complimentary. Like anyone who writes, the output exceeds the excellence. (You just don’t see ALL your favorite novelist’s writing. Trust me–there’s a lot more.) I am simply celebrating the beautiful things in SL and trying to find inspiration from them.
Today’s first was a mini-monograph of an imagined culture. I studied cultural anthropology in graduate school, so I found this old-fashioned treatment an intriguing way to show some content that Sachi Vixen had sent me.
“The N’dali of the temperate forests and hills of Southern Peninsula of Melanasia are an independent tribe of traders and craftspeople. They are most noted for their fine metalwork and technology in working with exotic creature skins and feathers such as those of the phoenix and dragon. Their people are homogenous with genetic markers such as pale fine caucasian skin, thick dark black hair and most amazingly, golden eyes, which appear ubiquitously through the N’dali people but are known as a rare recessive gene across other populations.
“As the culture is matrifocal, women enjoy a great degree of independence and power. Free of the pressures of typical patriarchal societies, both women and men flourish as leaders, artisans, nurturers and tradespeople. Some occupations weigh heavier towards one sex or the other but both sexes enjoy the opportunity to choose their vocation. Parenthood is shared, with all children taught the concept of n’dalia, or fidelity to social oneness and community. The people are, overall, very insular and communicate very reluctantly with others except in trade. It could be said that their cultural ethos is ‘G’sip a g’ringen’ or ‘Words are power.’
“As seen in Figures 1 and 2, the N’dali women’s garb is made entirely by local artisans. First, the top and skirt are sewn from treated dragonskin, which is created from a process of steps that range from the original hunt of dragons by specialized warriors to the butchering of dragons and curing of dragonskin by skilled craftspeople. The dragonskin is surprisingly light but flexible and protective—it can withstand high temperatures and resists puncturing. The collars and belt of their garments are fashioned by artisans trained via apprenticeship and are created by commission, showing the marks of their owners’ family seals-—in this case, the image of a goddess akin to Callisto on the belt.
“Figure 3 shows us the face of a N’gali woman. With fine beautiful features, the N’dali’s caucasian skin is surprisingly resistant to the elements and heat. The skin provides for N’dali women a convenient canvas for personal expression. While the facial tattoos of many women accentuate their golden eyes and provide pure decoration, the tattoos on their arms tell metaphorical tales of very personal narratives and relationships (in the case of this woman, an homage to the master craftswoman who taught her dragonskin hunting and curing). The hair is arranged in a complex construction of loops and curls, reaching ever higher heights as wearers try to outdo each other to the astonishment and subsequent duplication of their peers. It could never be said a N’dali woman is not vain.”
Excerpted from “Between the Dragon and Phoenix: the N’dali of Melanasia” by anthropologist Birgit Fredriksson-Denison.
Cultural artifacts provided by:
Hair: MrS – Hazardous – Medium by MrSigmund Fride for MrS
Skin: :GP: Petal [Dark] Summer-Pebble 1 by Gala Phoenix for Curio *
Makeup: Adam n Eve Eye Tattoo Dragon Queen Gold by sachi Vixen for Adam n Eve *
Eyes: FASHISM ‘Sunrise’ Eyes – Deep Gold (ML) by Ikon Innovia for FASHISM *
Outfit: Adam n Eve Clothes – Dragonskin – Purple by sachi Vixen for Adam n Eve *
Earrings: p.c; Oxidized Silver Hoop by Cora Lu for Paper Couture (modified)
Tattoos: AITUI TATTOO – Fire Fish Sleeves ::airbrushed:: by Jesseaitui Petion for AITUI
Shoes: ::: MOON ::: 1001 Nights Slippers COCOA by Moon Ling for ::: MOON :::