While no one truly knows where the Mahosi originated, the nomadic peoples of the Nav Desert have their own creation myth. Their version of the world's origin is very similar to that of the Balican faith, and it goes a step further to explain the origin of man- or, to be more specific, of the Mahosi people. According to legend, the ground-shaker Groudon crafted the Mahosi out of the desert sand, and Entei filled them with the fire and passion of the volcano. As such these nomads believe that their very lives are tied to the desert, and they believe that it is this tie that allows them to survive so well in a land others consider inhospitable.Culture
The Mahosi are nomadic and do not have a central leader to unite their peoples as a whole. Instead each tribe has a chieftain and a shaman, each equally important in the leadership of the tribe; the former governs over the practical affairs while the latter is in charge of spiritual matters. Generally the Mahosi are a peaceful people, and they do not war with one another. They reserve their warriors' strength for times when they must defend themselves or their desert homeland, and as such their "troops" do not see much fighting- not that it lessens their ferocity, for the warriors spend most of their days in duos and trios in the harsh desert wilds.
Because they feel tied to the desert, Mahosi travel strictly within the Nav's borders. They will not eat food obtained from other parts of Harper region; only crops grown in Navdia Crater and Dorani Village are considered "pure" enough for them to consume without severing their sacred ties to the sand. They believe that to take even a step on lands not of the desert drains the volcanic spirit from the body, and such mohalu
(or "hollow people") are immediately outcast from the land. Even Pokemon that originate from elsewhere in Harper are rarely traded into a tribe; one that is must undergo a ritual to tie it to the desert, and the Mahosi believe that the outsider Pokemon will perish without this ceremony.
Life in the tribe in generally one of ritual and habit. The men go out daily to scout the land, find resources, and hunt game. Women, even the warriors, stay close to the tribe to forage for roots, fish (if there is a body of water nearby), and collect food that doesn't require large weaponry. Some women make the spears and arrows needed for hunting, and Mahosi belief is that game belongs not to the hunter but to the owner of the spear or arrow. Therefore almost all of the meat brought to the tribe belongs to a woman, and it is up to her to dole it out respectively (it is considered rude, however, to not give first pick of the meat to the hunter and his family, if the hunter is not her spouse. Likewise it is rude for the hunter to choose all of the best portions for himself).Marriage and Family
Tribes are considered to be one large extended family, even if most of the members are not actually blood-related. As such it is forbidden for tribe members to marry one another; instead they choose their spouses when meeting up with another wandering tribe, a happenstance that occurs at random, or when visiting Dorani Village or Navdia Crater. As each tribe member lives the majority of their lives isolated out in the desert, the arrival of another Mahosi band is cause for celebration. Festivities will occur for weeks and include dancing, singing, craft exchanging, and numerous weddings. Newlyweds stay with the woman's tribe from thereon out.
Couples usually have up to two children, although a smaller tribe may permit a family with three. Girls and boys are taught the same essential skills from early on- how to forage for food, how to hunt game, how to make weapons and clothing, how to fight- but, upon becoming teenagers, boys are taught more about fighting and hunting while the girls learn foraging and weapons crafting. Genders will sometimes cross into duties not usually reserved for them, but it is rare.The Mohalu
The "hollow people," or the outcasts, are the Mahosi that have set foot outside of their desert world. It is believed that doing so drains the volcanic spirit necessary to survive in the Nav Desert, and these outcasts are forbidden from ever returning or contacting their families again. The mohalu
are allowed to mingle in the Dorani Village and Navdia Crater, but they must wear grey and/or black clothing so as to be identified by any local Mahosi. It is considered incredibly bad luck for a Mahosi to even lock eyes with a mohalu
, let alone speak to or touch one, and to do so requires a vigorous cleansing ritual on the part of the tainted tribesman. A mohalu
whom fails to wear the designated warning colors in the vicinity of a Mahosi will be put to death immediately. The nomads consider being outcast a fate worse than death; many who do become outcast request to be executed by their shaman, the only way for the drained spirit to rejoin with the desert.Warriors
Warriors are the often unmarried fighters of the Mahosi, and these nomads are known for their prowess in battle without the aid of Pokemon. Each warrior carries a bow, a quiver of arrows, and at least two spears, the latter of which can be used as an impromptu staff in close combat. Mahosi warriors are also skilled in hand-to-hand fighting, and their style of martial art is unique to their people. Pokemon may be used as battle partners, but it is considered lazy and dishonorable to sit back while the Pokemon does all of the fighting. Mahosi and their Pokemon are so in sync with one another that they can do battle together without need of verbal communication.
The Mahosi are particularly noted for their band of female warriors, the Tehatsu. They are comprised of unmarried women and widows with grown/no children, and they are just as adept in battle as their male counterparts. They do not train or travel with the men, however, and only mingle with the other gender when they must come together as a whole to defend the tribe.
Girls and boys who wish to become warriors start training at the age of ten. In order to graduate into a full warrior, each child must not only become adept at weaponry and hand-to-hand combat, but they must go on a solo vigil to obtain a partner Pokemon. Men must capture, tame, and train a male Charmander; women must capture and train a Larvesta. When they're not fighting, the warriors and their Pokemon spend their days scouting the land and hunting, and it's not uncommon for them to be away from the tribe for days at a time.Pokemon
A single Mahosi individual rarely, if ever, has more than half a dozen Pokemon on them. Much like the Dorani, the Mahosi do not use Pokeballs but instead befriend their Pokemon; it's not common, but some tribesmen and women will breed theirs and offer the offspring as gifts to other tribes.
Much like it is forbidden to cross out of the desert, Mahosi are forbidden to obtain their first Pokemon anywhere but the desert. Some Pokemon, particularly most Water- and Grass-types, are considered too weak to survive in the harsh land and are never sought after. Still others tie deeply into Mahosi lore and are coveted above all other species.
Cacnea and Cacturne are prized as spiritual guides, for it is said that a Cacturne saved the life of the first shaman. Those individuals who find one of the Cactus Pokemon as their first partner are said to be destined to be a spiritual leader.
Numel and Camerupt, as carriers of the volcano, embody the spirit of the Mahosi people. Those individuals who capture one of these camels as their first partner will be great warriors or future chieftains.
Kabuto and Kabutops are the most coveted Pokemon among the Mahosi, as they are the only Water-types believed to be capable of not only surviving in the desert but thriving in it. Individuals who find one, even a fossil (which the Mahosi recognize), immediately gets vaulted to such high status that only the shaman and chieftain surpass them. Finding a Kabuto fossil will prompt the tribe to head for Navdia Crater immediately in order to resurrect it, and it's the only Pokemon that Mahosi will always accept in a trade from outsiders (although it must still be consecrated). If someone is made mohalu
, the Kabuto/tops will be taken from them prior to banishment; it's too valuable of a pokemon to lose.
In general, Pokemon are used to help their handlers with day-to-day tasks. Women prefer Pokemon that can help forage for food or craft weapons; Sandshrew and Drilbur are favorites among those whom stay near the tribe. Hunters prefer canines to help with tracking prey, and Pokemon such as Houndour, Growlithe, Vulpix, and Litleo are common companions for them.The Adult Ceremony -- Jo'halna
is the journey every tribe member must take in order to become an adult. Upon turning sixteen every boy and girl must traverse the entirety of the Nav Desert, including the center and the borders, and then find their wandering tribe. It's on the jo'halna
that a Mahosi must also find their partner Pokemon, and it is required that the first wild Pokemon the young adult sees be the one befriended; those desiring to become great warriors cannot ignore other Pokemon until they find a Numel, for example. Some Mahosi never come back from their jo'halna
, but this is a rare occurrence. Upon returning the new adult will be given a single gift by each family of the tribe, usually something with practical use- a new spear or knife, for example- and he/she is henceforth expected to act as a fully-contributing adult.
take at least a year to complete, if not longer. During this time the Mahosi may interact briefly with other tribes but cannot accept supplies from them, nor stay the night. No Mahosi may ever tell anyone else about their journey, either. It is considered a spiritual experience between the individual and the desert.Tribe Relations
Tribes do not war with one another, but disagreements between individuals do happen. These are usually settled with various councils and trials, and some transgressions are considered worse than others.Killing another
is only acceptable in self-defense or as an accident. Self-defense is not punished but also not questioned, as the Mahosi don't condone lying and immediately trust the word of the defendant. An accident is not punished, either, but the transgressor must pay the victim's family in tools, livestock, and other resources; the settlement is discussed and agreed upon by the families of both the victim and the killer. Any other acts of murder are punished with death.Rape
is punished by banishment, but it is considered acceptable if the victim was a warrior/warrior-in-training who fought back with force; in these cases, it is believed that the victim had ample opportunity to protect herself and failed due to weakness of spirit. The woman can, if she chooses, go on a spiritual journey with her tribe's shaman to repair said weak spirit. Once the shaman deems her strong, the victim may challenge her rapist to a duel set to her terms- she may travel to the other tribe, or she may demand that the rapist travel to hers, and such summons must be obeyed. If the rapist loses the duel, the victim may either castrate or banish him. If the victim loses, she is said to have been shunned by the spirits and is banished herself. Any signs of cheating from the rapist is cause for his immediate loss.
A victim that does not go on the spiritual journey to strength herself is no longer allowed to be a warrior. She is not banished, but she is considered weak and delegated to foraging duties (even weapons crafted by her hand aren't seen as strong enough to use). Very few women make this choice.Stealing and lying
are viewed as equally bad in comparison; lying is "stealing the truth" that the Mahosi rightfully owe one another. Thieves and liars must give up all of their possessions, including all pokemon (except their jo'halna
partner) to their victim. It is, however, up to the victim to prove that the other party stole or lied.Killing the Pokemon
of another Mahosi, for any reason, is cause for instant banishment, as pokemon help tie the people to the desert. An aggressive pokemon may be injured or debilitated in self-defense if necessary, but wounds must not be fatal.Water
Water is a scarce and valuable resource. They are normally carried in special cactus gourds, and normally collected from cacti and underground reservoirs (reached by digging pokemon). Mahosi are adept at spying where an underground water table may be based on the condition and variety of the local flora. Water is the most valued thing in any tribe, and it is (often) happily accepted as a full settlement for a transgression. Those with a Kabuto or Kabutops are highly-valued members of the Mahosi people, not just their tribe.Outsiders
Non-Mahosi are not allowed to travel with the tribe under any circumstances. A tribe in Navdia or Dorani Village will, however, trade goods. Pokemon are rarely traded, although any outsider with a Kabuto, Kabutops, or even Dome Fossil will be practically swarmed with trade offers. Many families will trade every pokemon and possession they have (minus the jo'halna
pokemon) for this fossil.
Mahosi otherwise keep mainly to themselves. The unmarried may flirt with outsiders, but are not permitted to engage in sexual activity with one- let alone marry. The former is rectified with intense rituals and spiritual cleansing, while the latter earns instant banishment.