Aaand we’re back! Well, I think you know the drill by now. Original text first, behind the scenes afterward. Today I will shortly discuss two socio-cultural aspects of the Bodisei; their way of communication as well as a look at their population and stratification. Let’s dive in! ^_^
A spoken Bodisei language exists, but knowledge of this is limited as it is rarely used in contact with non-Bodisei. Most Bodisei are able to speak Galactic Basic, but often use the language of the place they live to communicate with the place’s local inhabitants. They don’t have their own written language and use the Galactic Basic script to write for and with non-Bodisei, but writing is hardly done among the Bodisei themselves.
Population and Stratification
Bodisei live in bands of usually thirty to fifty people at most. Though there have been examples of larger bands, none of these had more than seventy members. Bodisei women enjoy great respect because they are the ones who give birth and thus in fact give life. This especially has led to the Bodisei being primarily matrilineal, meaning kinship is traced through the female line.
No member of the band is completely in charge, however, and all work together closely in order to manage their lives. Still, in many Bodisei bands a Council of Elders exists to take the most crucial decisions. These councils contain of the oldest members of each family in the band. Although they formally have little to no formal authority, they are often held in high regard by the others.
Behind the Scenes
Well, I have to admit I’m not entirely certain where to go here. I remember very little about the decision for the “lack” a Bodisei language. It being laziness on my part is unlikely, since I really love creating fictional languages, even if it’s just bits and pieces, like a handful of words or expressions. Maybe it was just something to fill in the gap before I’d flesh out the language or at least some background on the language some more (which I obviously never did…). And maybe it’s something completely different. Who knows… Wish I did… ^_^; Looks like an opportunity to work on, though. Should be fun!
The creation of the population and stratification part I remember more of. It’s especially here where the influence of my education, social and cultural anthropology, begins to shine through. Besides seeking to get an as detailed description as possible (hey, I never got very far, okay ^_~) of the people I was creating, there were some more particular influences. The idea of making the Bodisei a matrilineal people was heavily influenced by an article I read in my first year, written by the late famous anthropologist Clifford Geertz.
The article was based on a study by the Chinese anthropologist Cai Hua on the Na (also known as the Mosuo), an ethnic group in South-Western China. It’s kind of surprising I would not go further in that direction later in my study, because from what little I read about them the Na absolutely fascinated me. They were quite different than what I was used to, than what I grew up with and had always taken for granted, in a good way. It should be noted, though, that I later found out not everything I had read was entirely correct.
Wow, this really takes me back… Aside from matrilinearity there were certain other concepts in Na society and culture I found very intriguing and there is no doubt these concepts had a major influence on the creation the Bodisei. I’ll go into them more when I get to the parts they inspired. Which is very likely the next part, tomorrow. ^_^ Looking forward to it! See you then!