The Tunganee people

The Tunganee People’s creation myth states that they are the children of the mountain wind, and the wild horse raised by the lone wolf in the dark of a winter storm. Those who have dealt with them, in trade, and war know that there is much truth to this.

The Tunganee form large clans centered around extended family units, these clans then band together into tribes who heard the 3 sacred animals, the Auroch, BristleBlack Boar or the Horse. All of the Tunganee people share in the duties of watching over and caring for the flocks of wild Turkeys that live upon the steppe, they are seen as a collective property of the people as a whole. These turkey provide feathers for fetching, and eggs, it is a great crime to take more than you need.

The Tunganee, engage in ritualistic head binding of their children giving them elongated and curved skulls, they braid their hair with bits of metal and bones of small animals. Adults engage in ritualistic scarring of their upper body to make important life events, the first scar is given on an adults return to their people from their vision quest. Other scars are granted for victory in battle, success in a hunt, providing wisdom or other major accomplishments.

Physical Features: The Tunganee have broad facial features, deep brown skin, black hair and tend to have shockingly bright blue eyes. They elongate their skulls through head binding. They tend towards taller and slim builds well adapted to a life in the saddle.

Social Structure: The steppe is a harsh and unforgiving place, as such the Tunganee have little use for complex social structures that are not immediately useful, and resilience in the face of death. Each Tribe is lead by a council comprised of three parts:

Governance & Statedom The Tunganee do not have a social political concept of “The State”, they are a people, who make up tribes, from time to time a particularly skilled chief may arise and take the title of Khan and unite many tribes into one tribe, but this is never permanent and all understand this. The unity of such a Khanate is built upon the strength and skill of the khan, that is where it begins and ends. There has in the history of the Tunganee been two Khan of Khans, who have united all of the steppe people into one army to fight outsiders, both in the distant past.

Warfare: Each tribe are expert horse archers, spending most of their lives in the saddle, and hunting game with bow. Every member of society learns to ride almost as soon as they can walk, and learn to shoot a bow as soon as they can hold one and draw it. The Tunganee prefer hit and run tactics showering their enemies with arrows before retreating out of their range. Setting ambushes and feigning retreat to lure the foe into undefended positions. In addition to the bow, each horse archer carries a sword, axe or club. Some will carry a long metal tipped lance and wear armor reinforced with metal and bone, during a feigned retreat they will stop and charge the oncoming foes as arrows rain down upon them, before quickly wheeling and retreating.

Arts and Crafts: Arts and crafts are mainly relegated to those that can be done in the saddle, knitting with reeds dyed with berries, ash, clay, and other common material, poetry and stories, when camp is struck leathers and wood can be worked into good of value for personal use or trade.

Religion: The Tunganee people, follow a shamanistic nature based “religion”, shamans guide the people based on omens, both found in nature around them, or in the bones and intestines of sacrificed animals. The shamans are consulted before any large undertaking, such as going to war. Every 7 Years all the Tribes meet at a point divined by the shamans, for long period of festivals and celebration. Violence outside of ritualized wrestling is strictly forbidden. There are rampant orgies and contests of strength, agility, and mind.

Clothing: Clothing is made almost exclusively from animal hides, and reeds woven into strips. Animal leather is treated as highly prized possessions. The Steppe people frequently adorn their hair with the bones of small animals and bits metal meant to glint in the sun.

Food: The food of the Steppe peoples consists primarily of dairy products, milk, yogurts, and infrequently eggs, meat and animal fats. Meat is frequently wrapped in leather and stashed under the saddle to tenderize it then either fried in it’s own fat, or boiled with salt, nuts berries and milk. When a tribe makes camp for longer than a few days, a simple earthen pit oven is usually built and flat breads are baked, along with smoking of meats.

Drinks: Alcohol is rare, and thus the people tend to have a low tolerance for it. They do make a few variations of fermented milks, and thick yogurt like drinks which are flavored with berries or nuts. Other then that they will drink water, or a mix of milk and the blood of their herd animal to sustain themselves. Tea is saved for special occasions and treated reverently, their tea is earthy and bitter a product of the harsh lands they live in.

Spices: Salt, some ground nuts, and the infrequent wild garlic, other then that any spice must be bought, traded for, or stolen.

Plants/Grains: Wild grains, fruits, berries and nuts.

Protein: Meat, and nuts.

Architecture: The Steppe peoples create few fixed buildings, they often sleep in the saddle, or in simpel tents made of long straight wooden poles covered in animal hides that have been rubbed with fat and dirt to make them more resistant to the elements. Thees tents ranges in shapes and sizes, with out any one shape being more common. Tents usually hold anywhere from one person to a whole family group, fires are normally kept outside, sheltered from wind and rain by a secondary tent structure, which is little more than a simple frame and a hide to protect from the elements.

Callender. The various Steppe peoples use Lunar calendars that are synced to the grazing patterns of their particular animals, while this seems like it would make meetings between the various peoples hard to plan, with even a basic understanding of the other peoples animals any Steppe person can figure out a conversion to their own calendar.