|Confederated Communities of Jute
Nonaf a Jute a tahadovi ifi
|Motto: Life is hard, but worth it|
|Anthem: Mohomi ude savanhude
(Living in harmony with water, land and air)
|Capital||No official capital|
|Official languages||Jutean, Jutean Sign Language|
|Recognised regional languages||Jutean, Neviran, Jute Pidgin, Samwati, Klambari, Sgen|
|Ethnic groups||Juteans (45 %)
Mixed (20 %) Neviran (15 %) indigenous minorities (15 %)
Various refugees (5 %).
|Demonym||Jutean, Jutese (archaic)|
|Government||Confederation of independent, direct democratic communities|
|-||Community Leader (with no executive powers, mediative and balancing function)||Coconut Beach|
|Legislature||Community Meeting (local, regional and confederal)|
|Independent since 1872 from the Saruan Empire|
|-||Settlement of the island||800 BC|
|-||Development of Saandism||300-200 BC|
|-||Klambari invasion of Coastal Jutean lands, half of the population dead or made to serfs||100 AD|
|-||Emigration of the other half to Ystel to found Laina||100 AD|
|-||Island Coastal Jutean regain independence||970-980|
|-||Return of a sizable amount of the Ystelian population to the island||~1000|
|-||Begin of the colonizing of Jute by the Neviran Empire||1650|
|-||Recovery of independence||1872|
|-||Unification of Island Jute with South Jute||1912|
|-||Island Jute alone||63,297 km2
24,439 sq mi
|-||Island + South Jute||199,006 km² (76,837 sq mi)|
|Currency||The Score (see 5 Economy for important details)|
|Time zone||JST (SCT+8)|
|-||Summer (DST)||not observed (SCT)|
|Drives on the||n/a|
|Internet TLD||.jt (rarely used)|
|Location of Jute in Ystel and the Saru Sea, AEIOU members in light green|
Jute (IPA: /ju:tɛ/, Jutean: Jute [jute]), officially the (Slightly) Confederated Communities of Jute (Jutean: Nonaf a Jute a tahadovi ifi [nɑnɐf ɐ jute a tɐhɐdɑʋi ifi]), is a loose confederation of communities located in the northeastern Saru Sea and on the northern part of Ystel. A different, archaic name is also "Ratelland", after the national animal, the ratel or honey badger, though it might also be used to refer only to the communities on the Ystelian mainland.
It is home to several ethnic groups. Aside from Coastal and River Juteans, the main and titular ethnicities, the island part of Jute had already been inhabited by Samwati and Klambari, two unrelated cultures. Aside from these native ethnic groups, Nevirans as former colonizers still form a major ethnic group on Jute. The remainder of the population is made up by people of mixed descent and various smaller immigrant groupings.
Altogether, seven languages are recognized on the main island as official or regional languages, and two on the Ystelian part. On the former, the main languages are the two Jutic languages, (Coastal or Standard) Jutean and River Jutean, legally seen as one language, two are the heritage of the colonial era (Neviran and Jute Pidgin), two, Samwati and Klambari, are unrelated indigenous ones and the seventh one is Jutean Sign Language. In South Jute, the main language is South Jutean, with the Sgen language existing as a native minority language.
Known for being home to one of the last independent non-state societies on Sahar, Jute has in its current form existed since 1872, though the political and social system is traditionally said to trace it roots back at least 2,800 years, to the to a tribal system of the first proto-Jutic settlers.
Instead of a government with a sizable formal bureaucracy, the confederation is instead characterized by its widespread, decentralized system of direct democracy and a subdivision into more than 1,500 small, largely autonomous communities, each organized in an egalitarian collectivist manner and grouped together into counties (or boroughs in towns) and regions, as well as an absence of central political institutions with the exception of the confederal assemblies taking place twice a year and the office of the vunamoena a nonafat a Jute ("Leader of the bigger community of Jute"), who functions as a representative of the island in the country as well as abroad, and also as a lawspeaker and leader of the supreme court. This system has its roots in the traditional tribal democracy of Coastal Juteans, which has existed in some form for 2,800 years, with unsuccessful suppression attempts during the colonial era from the 17th to the late 19th century. However, before the re-establishing of independence in 1872, it did not extend to the Klambari and Samwati, who locally still maintain to a degree their own old political and social system.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Religion
- 8 Culture and Society
- 9 See also
A common folk etymology for "Jute" is to see it as a compound of ju te, or "this onward" in Jutean, referring to the supposed exclamation of the first settlers roughly 3,000 years ago who meant "this shall be our home from now onwards". However, this has been rejected by most contemporary linguists as not being supported by any trustworthy evidence.
More likely, it comes from the jute plant (of the Corchorus genus), in Jutean also jute, with the word later coming to refer to the island as well, and finally acquiring the third meaning "home", especially "home of a population/group of people" in Modern Coastal Jutean.
The first settlers on Jute were groups of neolithic cultures reaching the island from Püzimm at about 2,000-3,000 BC. Little is known about their origin and their culture at the time, but they were the predecessors to the Klambari and Samwati minorities that still live on Jute in modern times. Judging by the available evidence, the split must have happened relative early or have already taken place by the time they set foot on the island, and had been in frequent conflict after it. Many buildings, temples and other structures dating from that time appear to have been destroyed in that time as well.
Much later, in about 800 BC, Jutic people, who would later split into Coastal Juteans and River Juteans, arrived from Lahan on the main island, settling down at the central coasts that had after the long time of conflict become mostly uninhabited. They mostly engaged in simple foraging of fruits as coconuts and sweetsops, leafy greens such as jute, herbs, eggs etc. for sustenance, although their diet was frequently supplemented by fish and later on also gardened vegetables, such as sweet potatoes.
A bathing culture that called for daily bathing or swimming in the sea or river, or failing that, showering with water gained from the rain or from another local water source. This was not just a holdover from their previous life in Lahan (being descendants of the Sanju-Juteans), and later mostly on the sea, but also a way to stay connected with their maritime history, the sea and water in general.
Oral history has it furthermore that philosophical musings go back to the first generations of Jutic people, with discussions about the meaning of life and a possible afterlife being lively but ultimately mostly fruitless. Other people participated in small exploring missions, scouting their surroundings. Some went missing or came back wounded, which is said to be one of the main reasons why 'mohomo havandi' or respecting the wilderness and its dangers and attempting to live in harmony with them became such a fundamental part of both Coastal and River Jutean cultures. Some more exploring is also said to have led to the discovery of new herbs that turned out to have medical properties, and the need for a fair distribution is traditionally seen as what gave first rise to a beginning indigenous understanding of arithmetic.
Growing population numbers meant food distribution became an issue, as it was no longer as abundant as before. According to oral history, this is when the understanding of arithmetic began to further improve, and allowed for more sophisticated distribution methods, with some proto-writing emerging to help with sorting, carved into chunks from trees.
In the evening, talking about and remembering the past is said to have eventually become a tradition of story-telling with their own past as subjects,or the monoliths and stone ruins that could be found in some places alongside the central coast of the island. Whereas nowadays they are being linked to Samwati structures destroyed during one of their many conflicts with the Klambari, Coastal Jutean tradition has it that they were there due to a divine cause or were a natural part of the environment. Other explanations claimed a combination. Due to the small size of the communities and relative isolation, the very concept of people from other populations and cultures did not enter stories at the time, the memory of the contact to other groups on Lahan their ancestors having been forgotten or changed beyond recognition. Sparse encounters with the Samwati on the island however likely actually did exist, even though they would have probably been misunderstood as meetings of people from other Jutean communities that just had happened to develop very different customs and clothing. Contact between the different Jutean communities did exist, even if it usually was infrequent as well, and provided additional material for storytelling, which in some form or another still is a popular evening rite today, although the fire has in many places been replaced by an electric or gas lamp.
In addition to storytelling, exploring the local environment, philosophizing and swimming also remained popular activities in ancient times, and a new discovery is supposed to have led to the creation of a better material suitable for proto-writing. Using the long leaves of a specific plant that allowed for the carving of symbols. Soon however, thick, undrinkable liquid squeezed from specific berries was used instead, and pressed on the leaves using a short stick. Thus simple symbolic drawings could become slightly more accurate. Legend also has that the first flute was made when one of the explorers found a thicker branch when looking for leaves to draw on that happened to be hollow inside, and made a sound when blown. This is traditionally seen as the beginning of the flute music that is still so characteristic of folk music on Jute.
Development of math, a philosophy of math and ancient medicine
Some of the Juteans preferred to expand their small numerical system, and give it some fine-tuning, or so goes oral history. Juteans in this later ancient period are said to have started experimenting with bigger numbers and developed some mathematical puzzles as an alternate pastime, meant to stimulate the brain and ability to reason, although this use of math is said to have been deemed a waste of time by some other people, who favored spending time on answering philosophical questions. To which the fans of recreational mathematics are supposed to have said that such use numbers might be of help in answering the questions of life and beyond and that in any case was not useless, that everything in the world has some purpose. However, this conflict is also said to not have lasted too long, as soon both disciplines had started to mix. This would be the start of a philosophy of math that is still recognized as characteristically Jutean nowadays. Questions such as whether there is such a thing as the biggest and smallest number, or whether numbers had some special meaning inherent to them, and if they were all the same or had some special properties differentiating them were among those this new field is said to have attempted to answer. According to a popular legend, after some experimentation with division, a particularly devoted hobby mathematician is supposed to have discovered prime numbers, and then have tried to find a way to be able to calculate them easily, as well as have tried to find other methods to find more prime numbers. These numbers were dubbed "divine numbers", as divinity was assumed to be a state of total purity, mental and otherwise, and these numbers, who seemed to be at the base of all others, were said to be particularly pure.
According to another often told legend, at one point a young woman needed help with a flesh wound on her leg after an accident while exploring. Initial attempts are said to not have improved the situation and only have resulted in ear-piercing screams of pain, after which an older mother of three children is said to have suggested using some herbs she had used when her children couldn't sleep. Thus, a kind of simple anesthesia is supposed to have been discovered and the treatment of the actual wound could begin. The wound is said to have been cleaned as best possible with some fresh water and the oil of a plant used at the time for cleaning, and then stitched with a washed and sharpened bone needle with a string of cleaned spider web attached to it. In the end, the wound was bandaged with some thoroughly cleaned leaves and more cobweb binding them together. The operation is further said to have been a partial success, the woman having survived and being able to continue with her life for the most part. However, she is stated to have remained scarred permanently and retained some pain in her wounded leg, that no painkilling herb could make fully disappear.
The beginnings of Saandism
The population continued to grow, and some communities would have reached hundreds if not close to a thousand inhabitants. At this point, communities splitting into smaller ones likely became more common, as the existing food distribution systems would have increasingly run into trouble with higher population numbers, and the same will have been true for medical care and the communal socializing events. To avoid conflicts from escalating, a common solution is said to have been (and this is backed up by archeological evidence) that a community that decided to split off would rather attempt to seek a new location to settle down on rather than to fight the existing one or challenge them some other way.
However, often trees had to be raided to make room for new settlements, and according to oral history protests against what was called by some a "crime against nature and what is holy" were common. But most communities are said to have soon managed to reach an agreement after some discussion. The compromise that is supposed to have ended the conflict and is in much of Jute still followed identically involved pledging to plant a new tree for every one destroyed, and to have a minute of commemoration every day twice for everything the nature is providing them, during which everyone was also supposed to think about what they could do to better society while respecting the nature, and in the evening to review their day, what they achieved today and what plans they have for tomorrow. Over time, these rituals provided one of the bases for the religion that had long been developing. Saandi na trikki u mohomo harandi - being content with your life through numbers and harmony with wildlife. Guidelines on how to achieve this state of being were soon compiled by the elders and other people. They included moral guidelines on how to live with society and how society benefits the individual, guidelines how to respectfully use wildlife, natural resources and how to achieve the desired mental state by continued study of philosophy and science (which at that point mostly meant mathematics). Poems, songs and carvings with proto-writing were meant to help adherents of the religion remember them.
The end of Ancient Jute
But after many mostly peaceful years, one of the most famous Jutean legends goes, one fateful day some of the explorers met foreign soldiers in the forests, armed with sharp spears and speaking in an entire alien language that is said to have a strangely arrogant and mocking tone. This first contact with what likely were Klambari warriors is said to not have gone well for the Coastal Juteans. Seeing other people like this, threatening but unintelligible shattered their worldview, according to which everyone on Earth spoke a similar language. Stories that told of the existence of entirely different languages had always been dismissed as old fairy tales, and so the explorers in question did not have an appropriate reaction when and went into a kind of shock. Rather than attempting to build up contact and communication, they froze and quickly retreated, never to be seen in the jungle again. Their entire community became similarly shell-shocked, and their culture is said to have fallen into a long time of stagnation, even their communal nightly activities getting less and less, their spirit being broken. Not only is this said to have caused them to lose their curiosity for the world around them, it also is supposed to have led to widespread existential crises and even an epidemic of what nowadays would be described as depression. Local health experts are said to have been often helpless, unable to treat their patients properly. Some communities are also said to have continued a collective spiral downward, enough that they started to raid and attack their surroundings, abandoning their previous pacifist lifestyles. Oral history describes how different leaders are supposed to have emerged in response for the first time in Jutean history, squabbling over the future of the people of the Jutean villages, and how it only added to the crisis.
This would then have been made even worse by attacks from what is traditionally described as "a hostile tribe in the East" (presumably again the Klambari, which to this day live to the east of most of the Coastal Juteans). These attacks clearly must have caused significant damage and casualties, as can be seen in the number of improperly buried human remains and many weapon pieces. Untypical jewelry and clothing remains as well as weapons made from material unavailable near the central coast also indicate that it was an external force invading rather than a violent conflict inside a or between Jutean communities. Oral history says that these could at first still be fought off, barely, but that following them most Juteans were reluctant to build up their villages again, especially after a lone explorer who had decided to take up the long stopped activity of exploration again, warned them of another coming threat, likely a return of the Klambari. After this, many people are said to have decided to leave their old settlements behind and escape on the sea to other lands. The following days are supposed to have been spent gathering resources, saving what could be saved from their cultural and material heritage, and building bigger boats, in a specifically erected workshop. Considering burning down the rest of the village of what is supposed to be Sitti in modern-day Jute, the local population in the end is said to have decided against it, heavy-heartedly leaving the remnants of their home behind as they set sail to find a new one behind the horizon. However, a part of the population decided to stay behind, in the hope that those fleeing would come back soon and help restore the place. This, according to the legend, then proved to be a fatal decision in the end when the invaders from the east did come back, burned down the entire village and made the decimated and weakened remaining population work as serfs on their fields.
After a long journey, the Juteans that had escaped their island home did find some new land in the south on the continent of Ystel. Rather than tropical rainforests, the landscape was dominated by rolling hills of woods and grassland. They debarked near a small valley which had enough space for the first provisional housing. With some repurposed tools and weapons they built the first shed from lumber, which became the new center of their community, protecting their supplies and other belongings as well as themselves from exposure to rain and creating a place where fires could be lit. Around those their tradition of telling stories, adding new ones based on recent events, could be continued, to ensure that their past would not be forgotten. Aside from being a form of oral history, many stories were also dedicated to those that had decided to stay behind, and what might have happened to them. Speculations about future returns were also a common subject.
The last part of the legend details how the first Jutean village on Ystel emerged, which is still widely claimed to be the predecessor of the single bigger town of South Jute, Laina. First, the shed is said to have been expanded into a proper storehouse and community center, then additional new buildings were constructed as shelter and for work, while further resources and foods were being gathered. Fields were prepared as well as fishing trips. A small workshop for the production of new and more effective tools was set up, and slowly, the legend goes, the first South Juteans started to understand some of the basics of metal working, too, starting with copper, after they had made contact with another culture living somewhat further inland. This might have been the Sgen people. In any case this encounter is said to have reinvigorated the curiosity of the inhabitants, and metal and the results of metalworking became the subject of much study and deliberation.
However, generally the South Juteans remained isolated now, apparently having become more cautious after their last bad encounter. They didn't make much contact with other people for a long time, fading into obscurity for most of the world outside of the northeastern part of Ystel, only barely remembered in some ancient stories of the remaining Island Juteans. As the descendants of those captured and made to work as serfs, later liberated peasants, they will have not known much else about their ancestors, having long forgotten their language (it having been replaced with a creole) and many of their customs, having been mostly absorbed by the dominant Klambari culture. According to oral history, they started holding festivals all over the land where they lived in an effort to save their remaining heritage and continue or resume old traditions, trying to interpret the remainders of what they could find in the ruins of the settlements of their ancestors. Using methods of a kind of primitive proto-archeology that, among other things, attempted to decipher their old proto-writing combined with their own oral history, they were able to trace the direction some took when they fled from the invaders of the east. This later led some to seek contact with the population living in Ystel.
The settlement there, due to their relative isolationism and resulting lack of impulses and new ideas from outside had just barely gotten out of the neolithic age, never having managed to get to more advanced metalworking due to the absence of tin and iron. While some of the rest of the world had already been busy building up an industry, huge ships and terrifying war machinery, South Jute had effectively remained an isolated tribe, hiding in their valley and among mountains to avoid outright warfare. According to archeological evidence, records made after writing reached Ystel at around 1300 and oral history South Juteans did make some advances in their knowledge of geography, astronomy and medicine, but lacked any industry or even significant amounts of proto-industry. The population grew, but with many people once again periodically splitting from existing communities and leaving to find other places to settle down when food resources were running out or conflict developed in one way or another.
Despite all the trouble, a sizable amount of people will have remained in the oldest Jutean communities on Ystel and will have so also managed to preserve much of their old cultural heritage, including their religion. Oral history tells how it was a point of pride, with it being seen as the best guide to a better life and improved society by means of rationality and a lifestyle in harmony with nature. Being content with your life through numbers and harmony with wildlife remained the motto of the followers of Saandism, Saandi na tikki u mohomo havandi in modern Jutean. Other age-old traditions could so also be continued, such as the nightly telling of stories, whereas architecture and other arts alongside with more proto-scientific endeavors also started to flourished somewhat whenever the food supply was secured and no other problems required their attention.
The political system of Jute is an unusual hybrid, a mixture of communitarian social ideals and anti-authoritarian individual liberties. Society is organized in small communities, never larger than 1,000 people. They allow for space and freedom for all its members, but emphasize joint efforts in many areas of life, especially problem-solving. A community leader, as the only formal office, is supposed to help coordinating those joint efforts, and a new one is elected every two years.
Aside from organizing the community, they also are supposed to serve as mediators in conflicts, and are responsible for enforcing law, but do not hold any political power on their own. Instead, political decisions such as the passing of new laws are either done via a local, regional or confederal referendum, during an assembly called "Meeting of the Community", where aside from discussion of current issues mediation takes place, too. Two experts can be called in for those in case the community leader finds it necessary. While taking part in the meetings is voluntary, and open to everyone above the age of 16, laws and judgments passed by or during it apply of course to everyone. Therefore everyone is, in a way, part of the government, or at least able to be part of it.
This hybrid system has its roots in prehistorical times, when being part of close-knit groups of people was necessary for survival. Any attempt to establish a higher authority was seen as a threat to the well-being and safety of the community, and therefore generally stifled before it could gain traction. The island and especially in earlier times its jungles were large enough to separate and even isolate communities and prevent conflicts over land or resources, and the absence of metal further helped prevent social stratification.
A ruling class was installed during the time of Neviran occupation of the island and much of South Jute by elites of the Saruan Empire. Even if stripped of most of their political power, the communal institutions remained otherwise intact and culturally of the highest importance, even considered identity-establishing. Towards the end of the 19th century, many became the origin of a resistance movement that developed into a united anti-colonialist front on the entire island, bringing communities together in a manner that had not previously existed. Initially, the alliance consisted mostly of those in and near the biggest cities at the centrally located coast of the island, but later expanded to include all the communities, and after decolonization became the foundation for a confederation.
However, due to cultural resistance and with much of the island still being covered in jungle, and with few, slow connections (especially over the island and in and to the Ystelian part) Jute still remained very decentralized and continues to be so in modern times.
Communities are organized in counties, which make up regions, which together form the confederation of Jute. They have a varying amount of responsibilities and rights, with most of them being held by the first two, as seen below.
Every region, county and community retains the right to leave the confederation and assert its complete independence again if it votes for it. While this would give them the ability to ignore new or old laws from upper administration levels, it also makes them lose the benefit of the shared defense, foreign and trade policy, likely weakening them and creating a conflict, so this has not happened in history so far.
Local assemblies, known as Meeting of the Community, take place every five days, and have the biggest amount of responsibilities. If the settlements forming a community are too far away from each other or have some particularly isolated ones, a community may decide to create sub-communities with their own meetings, and devolve some of these responsibilities to them, based on local needs. However, arbitration and policing must, according to confederal law, remain under the control of the entire community, which then meets in this case only once or twice a month (depending on what the community agreed on) and might or might not typically involve personal attendance. The existence of sub-communities is particularly common in the very sparsely populated regions of South Jute and Taxonea.
They deliberate about local services such as primary education, including daycare and kindergarten facilities, where existing, or emergency services (first aid services, fire department and if available, ambulances) and are also responsible for care of the elderly and the homeless that have no family looking after them. Some also have youth centers and soup kitchens. Housing is mostly community-owned, too, with new buildings requiring the approval of the community meeting. New projects are being discussed every week there, with larger ones such as the construction of public buildings or large repairs after storms or the like being regarded as "common projects", where usually everyone is expected to help out in some way or other.
Additionally, they are responsible for keeping the community clean and safe, so things like street sweeping, waste collections, where necessary stormwater protection and in some towns also sewers are organized by it. The streets themselves, and any kind of traffic control also fall under their authority, as does zoning, building codes, permits and parts of the traffic code. Parks and other recreation areas, environmental and historical protection are included as well. More isolated, non-urban communities also tend to maintain their utilities and harbors on the local level.
However, in most parts of Jute utilities, public transport and facilities like harbors are managed on the next higher administrative level, the county level, by the respective assemblies. They are also responsible for hospitals and secondary education and unemployment assistance, and retraining. Finally, all ordinances that affect several communities at once, as well as a degree of budgeting and collections needed for bigger projects (e.g. hospitals) fall under their domain as well.
The county assemblies take place after the last local meeting of the month, and in most places don't take place in the same location as the local community meetings. Instead proposals to the agenda are submitted in advance, which then will be discussed on each local meeting, with the results being sent in to a central county department, where votes are being counted and the final result determined. Appeals following local arbitration and any kind of arbitration that has county-wide significance is also usually done there, with the county community leader and two to four co-mediators appointed by them commonly having to form a consensus on the issue, with some exceptions on more fundamental issues.
Counties are in turn organized in regions. Regional community meetings work similarly to county meetings, with submissions and issues being discussed in additional sessions every second month after the third monthly local community meeting. These control regional transport and infrastructure, for example trains and railways. Even if a given railway line might extend into other regions, it is managed by the region in which it starts, however railway stations are always managed by the region they are in. Aside from that, any other advanced or specialized hospitals or healthcare centers or institutions are under their authority, as is tertiary education.
Similar to county-level assemblies, politics and laws that affect the entire region, e.g. those concerning regional trade, are decided by them, as are collections, budgets and reserves (including foreign currency reserves) used for various projects and needs, or given to struggling counties in need. They may also send officials into specific counties or communities to control the enforcement of regional laws. The third instance of the court system, for appeals of county court decisions and for arbitration that is relevant for the entire region also exists in this third level of administration. The regional community leader appoints 8-10 additional mediators for each case and a decision is reached with a simple majority vote.
And finally, regions are united in a general community, and a community leader on that level exists as well instead of a prime minister and a president. This assembly is in charge of legislation and oversight of the airfield, air security and monitoring international travel and trade as well as the customs office, and decide on topics covering all of Jute as well as foreign relations, such as trade, diplomacy and defense cooperation and coordination. The court of last resort is also on this highest level of administration, represented by the general community leader and their 14 to 20 appointed mediators, who also decide based on a simple majority vote. The general assemblies happen twice yearly, usually on a different day that is being taken off by most people. In urgent or otherwise exceptional circumstances a third or fourth meeting might be called, or emergency appeals be transmitted to an assembly in session via phone Like with regional and county meetings, discussions happen in local communities separately, based on previously submitted issues, statements and other items to be discussed.
Differences in South Jute
South Jute has largely the same communal political system, with some peculiarities. For one, the entire region despite its much larger size consists of only four counties, Northern County, Southern County, Interior County and the town of Laina, owing to the low population.
On the other side, South Jute also has historically, being so far away from the island communities, not taken part in the political life of them and neither been affected much by it and thus largely people there have been making own laws in their citizen assembly, making the region even more autonomous than the local insular ones, since it's not only independent by law, but also by necessity, requiring it to be fully self-sufficient in every aspect. For most of the time, it was largely a very small, separate nation, hidden below the mountains in the north of Ystel, only connected with the island through a common history, language (that eventually developed into what is now known as South Jutean) and some trade.
However, with the advent of more modern technology such as satellite phones, it has been able to grow closer to the other communities again, and has been nominally part of the confederation since 1912, sharing a common foreign policy and diplomatic representation, but due to the ongoing difficulties caused by the distance, it largely retains its capability to govern itself alone and cooperates only sparingly with the other communities. Townspeople now also have the possibility to appeal to the confederal community leader and their court. They have the right to intervene, the distance however still makes this unfeasible and so is mostly restricted to the enforcement of the founding principles and other basic laws.
"Founding principles", adopted in 1872 after independence from the Saruan Empire and first written down 1892, serve as a constitution and thereby the supreme law of the confederation. It lays out basic rights of individuals and communities, such as the right to join and leave the confederation freely (according to regulations set out in specific laws) in the first article, the freedom from slavery, bodily and psychical harm and the right to privacy, free speech, free movement (on the island) and free exercise of religion, in the second one. Of note is that this article also states that "unoccupied land" might be used freely according to "reasonable restrictions" set by local law, and that "coerced" work and contributions are illegal, which effectively renders most systems of taxations used in other places of Sahar illegal on Jute. The country relies on a culture and tradition of collective contributions and sharing of burdens instead, supplemented at times by additional individual contributions.
Article 3 defines citizenship. It is declared to be extended to everyone living in a community belonging to the confederation or joining it, although it is allowed to be refused temporarily to people who recently entered Jute. In the following articles, customary law is established as the legal system on Jute (article 4) and the constitution is enshrined as binding supreme law for all individuals, communities and administrative entities with the ability to sanction those breaking any of it (article 5).
The last four articles lay out the basic working of the political system of Jute, establishing the office of the community leader explained above (article 6), devolving political powers to the biggest degree possible to the lower levels of administration (article 7) while setting up a large barrier to a reversal of that. As a result, "vertical" powersharing between tiers of administrations is severely restricted, whereas "horizontal" sharing of responsibilities between communities is allowed (article 8). To delegate powers to regional or confederal institutions a consensus is required from the tier one below the one that is supposed to acquire additional powers, i.e. for a regional assembly to be granted additional powers all county assemblies constituting it have to vote in favor, and for the confederal assembly to be granted additional powers all regional assemblies have to vote in favor. Amendments are not provided for.
To a large extent, these "founding principles" (also the formal name of the constitution itself) are the reason there aren't many laws or regulations applying to the entirety of the confederation, but there is also a cultural preference to keep law and simple, as all laws have to be memorized by the community leaders who also serve as lawspeakers. Aside from the already mentioned regulations on joining the confederation for individuals (as immigrants) and communities, and additional foundational administrative laws specifying the schedule, form and procedure of meetings there are only nine additional basic laws that are enforced in the entire confederation. These are often printed on posters hung in public or on cards that are given to tourists and other people arriving to Jute. Marked in bold are the laws where a violation is considered more severe.
|No bulletproof clothing in peaceful times||No sale of fireworks (with exceptions for a few holidays)||No guns in public places|
|No violence (barring self-defense or between consenting people over 18 years)||No goods stolen in other nations or outlawed internationally||No cars|
|No gangs||No selling of hard drugs, or consumption thereof in public places||No use of dynamite or similar, barring approved exceptions|
Policing and law enforcement
The involvement of the community leaders is seen as a last resort, and as there is no real separate police like in other nations, neighborhood watches are responsible for the safety of their community. The position of the watchers is rotating every week, and taking over this duty is considered a obligatory community service. Individuals found breaking the constitution or another basic law (excluding the law on fireworks, guns and bulletproof clothing) can be banished or punished otherwise as ordered by the community leader serving as impartial, if the violation was severe enough or if they are a repeat offender and show no will to change their behavior. Most other legislation is generally rather seen as a strong recommendation that one mostly should and is expected to follow, and is not enforced as strongly. Usually in most communities people will seek a dialogue with those breaking them, to offer them a way back into the community. If they still fail to change their ways and do not or are unable to adapt themselves, they might be ordered to leave the community, county, or region.
Prisons on the main inhabited islands or Ystelian mainland do not exist, but violent criminals of the former are usually sent to a specific designated, unsupervised prison island, or handed over to Mermelian authorities in South Jute. In some communities they might also be banished into the wilderness with no tools or supplies, although this being an indirect death penalty in most cases, it is not condoned by the general assembly, but due to isolation and remoteness of the communities in question is usually difficult to stop.
To preserve peace and friendly relations with other nations, Jute has since regaining its independence often sought alliances and pacts of nonagression with other nations. The most important alliance has historically been one with Nevira, created after long negotiations following the end of their colonial occupation in 1872, after much initial resistance in many parts of the island. Nevira guarantees the security and sovereignty of Jute in exchange for free access to the harbors of the island and South Jute.
Generally, foreign policy however still tends to be mostly neutral with no declared enemies, and no strong alignment with any side, though in recent years there has been a push away from any remainders of isolationism, and towards a policy of multilateralism. To that end, the confederation is a founding member of the AEIOU (Asuran Economic International Oceanic Union), a free trade organization formed in Mermelia on Ystel in 2013, that has since expanded to also include members in Baredina, Asuranesia and on Nagu. Aside from economic and defense cooperation, Jute also tends to emphasize diplomacy through cultural exchange or sports. Uniquely to Jute, skateboarding is considered a form of diplomacy as well.
There's no actual organized state-funded military, only some arms enthusiasts and few people who decided to be full-time soldiers are organized in a kind of society (calling themselves "Society of Modern Defense") commonly referred to as "the military". They have no legal privileges and as such e.g. the ban on cars applies to them as well. In general, they are under close scrutiny of most of the rest of the population, which is rather pacifist and suspicious of militaries in general. Therefore, they often have to resort to things like bake sales to cover their expenses. Its motto is "No oone me fa ma dee, letolo vuha nu; ivusaie ilejotof amefati a ilvuhide, u ejotof netumivoti a vuhide." ("The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light").
In case of a threat, which fortunately hasn't often been the case in the history of the island, the people of Jute come together to quickly discuss the best way of acting. First, diplomacy and hospitality will be attempted. If that fails, allies will be asked for support and everyone's talent on the island will put to good use - anyone able to use a weapon educating others, full-time soldiers acting as makeshift generals and strategical advisors, paramedics helping any wounded, falconers and other animal husbandmen taking care of Jute's "air force" and faunal support forces, and the navy, consisting mostly of war canoes and will be set ready. While most of the population is, as mentioned, pacifist, learning how to defend yourself is seen as a important part of education as well, especially since there are a lot of dangerous animals in some jungles, and each year unfortunately a lot of people die either by them or by getting lost in the vast forests.
Special tactics, weapons and armor
Jute uses mostly traditional weaponry and armor upgraded and advanced to modern times, but the "military" also uses common modern armor and weapons. The majority however uses an armor made of extra-strong jute fortified with carbon fibre made from pyrolysed jute. This makes it both lightweight and effective. The material is also used to improve the abilities of the arrows of crossbows. Last but not least, the "military" has developed so-called graphite bombs. Taking advantage of the conductive abilities of jute carbon fiber, they managed to create a humane weapon that will only disrupt electrical infrastructure and machines, such as power stations or computers and is largely harmless to humans. This results in a usually huge economic damage and severely impacts, if not destroys a significant part of the civil and military infrastructure without any, or in the worst case, very few, human casualties. A special tactic is using the forces of the elements to their advantage, this includes for example the synchronous surfing on special war surfboards of hundreds, if not a thousand of jute carbon fiber-armored warriors on top the waves, although these days this is mostly only used for representative purposes, such as surf board parades on the ocean.
Six emergency underground stations exist in Jute. All equipped with food, basic medical equipment, necessary supplies and some defensive weaponry and observation technology. The biggest one also has an underground harbor for submarines with a connection to the open sea and all of them have low-tech communication lines, separate from any other existing. The exact location of each station is held secret.
Important economic sectors
Consisting of land that has been largely not industrialized, Jute is still dominated by agriculture. The most important crops are coconuts, sweetsops and above all jute, both the fiber and leaves. Historically, jute production used to dominate the nation's economy and was used in all spheres of life. Examples include clothing, building, furniture, paper and culinary uses, among others. Even today, the jute fiber continues to be used in many local products and jute production remains one of the most important parts of the economy, cuisine and culture of Jute. However, other economic branches have since then become bigger and more important to the nation's gross national product, most importantly tourism and more recently book publishing, with many international authors from more authoritarian countries with a high amount of censorship selecting to print in Jute due to low regulation and low costs. Paper is traditionally made from jute fibers or banana peels and leaves. The fiber of the latter is also used as raw material in the making of clothes.
Large enterprises are unknown in Jute, most of the economy is comprised of semi-public small cooperatives, collectives or public services. It operates locally, on the neighborhood level, overwhelmingly as an informal gift economy, usually market-based, and on larger levels (county, region, island-wide) to varying degrees as a debt-based economy, especially in regional or island-wide commerce.
Currency only exists as foreign currency, brought in by tourists or accumulated through exports. As a result, coins and bills are not commonly used on the island itself. The Score is mostly used as a help to compare the value of goods or services, but doesn't really exist as either coin or bill. Instead, everything bought or consumed is first chalked up (or 'scored' and later re-payed. Anything bought or consumed is something figuratively borrowed, with a social expectation of later repayment. It is a system of redistributing goods that in general heavily relies on trust, and so people deemed untrustworthy or not accepted as part of the local community or wider society are left to either fend for themselves or find a supporting group or community of their own. The specifics vary from county to county and especially region to region and the economy may be subject to different amounts of "market laws" or general regulation.
Two railway lines, going from Kesulva via Sitti to Numudu and from Sitti to Helele are used to reach most of the coastal towns of the island. Inside these towns, the same railway lines are also used for transit, particularly in Sitti, Numudu and Helele, as a separate transit network or even separate transit lines do not exist. For the towns in the inlands, the rivers are generally the most effective way of transportation, as no real road network has ever been developed in order to be able to preserve the thick, hard to cross rainforest which is covering most of the inner island. For the same reason, cars also have always been banned.
There is also no real airport, just a quickly cleaned, rough airfield near Sitti. As the expenses for a real airport would be enormous, the confederal Meeting of the Larger Community of Jute has historically always voted against the construction of one. Tourists tend to arrive via cruise ships or similar instead, or use planes capable of landing on water.
For very small air freight, such as letters, memory cards or public announcements, trained carrier pigeons are frequently used, enough that it has drawn comparisons to a computer network. This "avian internet" remains effective not just due to the widespread lack of computer infrastructure outside of the major cities, but also due to the often very remote and isolated locations of many communities. Efforts to combine the power of many pigeons to carry heavier loads are also ongoing, but have so far been a failure.
Science and technology
Jute is generally slow to adopt new technology. This has several reasons. One on side, a perpetual problem is a lack of funds, which has made it all but impossible to cover the island in hi-tech. On the other side, religious and secular concerns about environmental destruction have often led to increased caution and even at times a misleading appearance of opposing modernity in general.
However, even the more conservative mainland part of Jute, South Jute on Ystel, uses satellite phones to communicate nowadays. Regular cell service would be to expensive to build up and maintain, and with limited communication needs in South Jutean communities a single satellite phone can serve a whole village or even an entire community. On Island Jute, hospitals operate on modern knowledge (supplemented by traditional knowledge when applicable) and the use of modern machinery is mostly only depending on budgetary constraints.
The small railway network on the island, connecting the bigger coastal towns, is also held back by financial trouble, however the lack of railways in the middle of the country would not be built regardless to protect the rainforests from unnecessary destruction. For the same reason cars and vehicles with combustion engines are banned entirely, with the exclusion of boats.
Computers are widely used, too, even if they are mostly only available in specific internet/computer cafes in towns or sometimes the local community in the countryside. Whereas the towns have regular network connectivity, the countryside however often has to rely on carrier pigeons to transfer data, usually in the form of small and affordable memory cards. This is often belittled by outsiders, however it has proven to be surprisingly effective and reliable once the pigeons have been trained, with speeds and rates of packet loss that would likely not exceed regular internet connections in secluded parts of many other countries. It is also used for a number of commercial transactions and to facilitate political participation.
In addition, Jute has a decent amount of indigenous innovation, even though it is once again by necessity limited to the low-tech sector. Research at the University of Jute into more efficient and useful solar cookers, simple radio broadcast receivers and senders as well as fridges not requiring electricity, to name some examples, is ongoing.
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A colorful mixture of mostly indigenous Juteans (45 %), pales (20 %) and Neviran (15 %), but also including various other ethnicities (5 %), and indigenous minorities, such as Samwati and Klambari (5 % each) Asylum seekers from all over Sahar also make up a notable minority (also about 5 %).
About half of the population on the island of Jute proper lives in towns, whereas 90 % of South Jute lives in the sole city of the region.
Largest cities on the island of Jute:
|City||Metro area population||Language|
|1||Sitti (also known as Jute City)||~380 000||Coastal Jutean, Jute Pidgin, Neviran|
|2||Samuvu||120 000||Samwati, Jutean (both)|
|3||Numudu||100 000||Coastal Jutean|
|4||Amdato||90 000||Klambari, Jutean (both)|
|5||Helele||60 000||Jute Pidgin, Jutean (both)|
Main article: Jutean
Official status of languages in Jute
The official language is Jutean, but other languages are sometimes used for international affairs and business. Jutean legally entails all languages of the Jutic branch of the Saru-Asuran language family spoken on the island. The main language, used in Jute in most official records, courts etc. and by roughly 1,270,000 people as their native language, is Coastal Jutean, often shortened to Jutean.
It is not to be confused with River Jutean, another member of the Jutic branch, spoken mostly inland of the island. Even though not legally recognized as a separate language, it is still recognized as a variety and as such can be used by anyone for all official matters where Coastal Jutean would be used, however, records and laws are usually not available in it, with the exception of those from River Jutean-majority communities and counties. When needed, a translation or an interpreter (for example in courts or community meetings) will be provided. Jutean Sign Language is also legally specified to be a co-official language in the entire confederation. In select regions, Jute Pidgin, Klambari or Samwati also have the status of an official language.
Coastal and River Jutean
First attested in around 300 BC, Coastal Jutean is assumed to have developed after the first ancestors of present day ethnic Juteans arrived at the island at around 1000 BC. The people remaining on the coast would eventually speak what is today referred to as Jutean, or Coastal Jutean (natively mostly referred to as tahiva net, tahivi a net or simply net, IPA /tɐhivi net/ and /tɐhivɐ ɐ net/), whereas the people venturing inside would develop River Jutean (tahosoe val ma, pronounced roughly /taho͡asoɛ vɐl mɐ/). It had no official status until after Jute regained independence 1872, during and prior to the colonial era it was just one of the languages spoken on the island, albeit the most widely spoken one.
Meanwhile, River Jutean remains widely spoken in the inland, particularly along the biggest river of the main island, the Tahonaha, where it is also used as an official language on a local and regional level. Most speakers of River Jutean learn Coastal Jutean early on as well, since monolingual speakers are despite the status of their native language as a legally recognized variety of Jutean at a significant disadvantage later on.
Klambari is a language of currently uncertain origin, it is spoken by a traditionally cattle-keeping and hunting society in the mountainous region in the southwest and west of the island who are said to have already been native to the island prior to the advent of the Jutic people. Through the creole Klambari-Jutean, spoken by Jutean serfs during the reign of the Klambaris over most of Jute from 50 BC to ~1000 AD, Klambari has had a significant impact on Jutean, particularly on Coastal Jutean, with many loanwords existing, for example sitili ('sword') from Klambari stüdterl ('iron').
Samwati is the language of a few relatively isolated communities in the far north of the island, which are said to predate even the Klambari settlements. Much of the language remains unknown, particularly any possible relation to other languages, since its speakers generally avoid contact with the outside world. However, archaeological findings have shown that Samwatians used to occupy a much larger part of the island several thousand years ago, with some ruins found near Sitti being the most prominent evidence for it.
Syncretism is very common on Jute. Patronal Saandism, with about a million followers the largest religion, draws from both traditional Saandist and from Qurosist beliefs, but there are also many followers of regular Qurosism in the bigger cities. Especially in the more remote counties and communities, traditional Saandism also is still largely followed. Other native religions are followed by most of the Samwati and a large amount of the Klambari, whereas other world religions such as Iovism have few adherents.
Saandism comes from Saandi, meaning in the old language of Jute 'being content with your life'. The religion combines tenets of science, particularly astronomy and math, curiosity and philosophy with greenism and communitarianism.
Name and central philosophy
The concept of Saandi, referring to a state of contentment with life, where nothing is perceived as bothering anymore, a change is not seen as necessary, is central to the religion. According to oral tradition, it has been a key part of the mentality of Jute since the earliest times. The full name of the religion, also makes clear how this should be achieved, namely na trikki u mohomo harandi, translating to 'through numbers and harmony with wildlife', meaning keeping an interest in the sciences, especially math while taking care of the land around you as well, thereby creating a balanced life in both the immaterial as well as the material world.
Tenets and daily life
Sacrifices are not encouraged, instead a self-reflective prayer twice a day is one of the most important aspects of it. In the morning, a minute of commemoration for everything the nature is providing them. During this, everyone is also supposed to think about what they could do to better themselves and society. In the evening, a review of their day was to take place, what you achieved today and what plans you have for tomorrow. The oldest rule, which initiated discussions on finding a way to respectably live with each other and with nature, was to plant a new tree for every one destroyed, after some trees had to be cut down to make rooms for new farms. Over time, this developed in a somewhat organized religion, complete with a "rulebook" where the elders and others wrote down the guidelines on how to achieve the achieved state of saandi that soon was written down. Important to note is that these weren't strictly "rules", more guidelines, that weren't forcibly enforced. Not following them didn't earn you any punishments, worldly or otherwise (the concept of "hell" was unknown and only later importer by missionaries) but would eventually lead to an alienation from society, and finally, ostracism, which was seen as punishing enough. Not that the book required any overly specific things from you, or didn't allow for any leeway. It contained more general moral guidelines on how to live with society and how society benefits the individual, guidelines how to respectfully use wildlife, natural resources. Any details were to be talked and agreed upon with other members of the community. Elder people could also often explain certain parts of it, and help you try to achieve the desired mental state, which involved continued study of philosophy and science, which at the beginning mostly meant mathematics.
The importance of numbers
Numbers were introduced already very early on to the existing philosophy, and quickly became an object of interest for many people, with mathematical puzzles soon establishing themselves as an esteemed and popular pastime. The discovery of prime numbers only furthered the admiration Ancient Juteans had for them. Those were seen as "divine" numbers because of their special abilities, as at first "divinity" was seen as a state of high "purity" and "originality", of which everything else was supposed to have developed. Even though that view changed a bit over the time, numbers are still hold in high regard, thought of as part of the logical half of the immaterial world, together with philosophical musings, with artistic endeavors, especially those more abstract and less realistic on the other side, similar to mandalas.
Understanding the imperfection of the material world
When the telescope was first invented, scientists of Jute first noticed how the moon, previously thought of an example of an "perfect" material object, "pure" in a way similar to prime numbers, actually was scarred all over the surface, with some larger, some smaller holes. This lead to the development of the tenet "Do not strive to be perfect, for it is neither possible or reasonable. The beauty and goodness of things comes from their imperfection.", meaning it is not the purpose of things of the material world to be as flawless as things of the immaterial one. The state of "purity" the prime numbers have can't be achieved, and neither should it, as it would destroy all things that make the material world worth living.
Main article: Qurosism
Qurosism was introduced by Neviran colonizers that arrived in Jute in the middle of the 17th century and, and so, like the Nevirans themselves, was mostly confined to the biggest coastal cities in Jute, Sitti, Helele, Numudu and other important ports such as Joonen and Etillamme. After independence, only Sitti and Helele, as the main cities of the remaining Neviran population, remained with significant communities.
Qurosism is responsible for the biggest sacral buildings anywhere in Jute, with the temple dedicated to Tali (Jutean: Taesi) in Sitti, known nowadays simply as Moon a Nevilani a Haad or Large Neviran Temple, being the biggest.
During the colonial regime of Nevira, traditional Saandism and Qurosism were subject to a lot of contact and exchange, leading to a syncretic religion combining major elements from both emerging as the most widespread religion in modern Jute, especially on Island Jute. In Patronal Saandism the deities of Qurosism have been to some extent conflated and entirely reinterpreted as supernatural patrons rather than proper gods that aid and guide but did not and do not create. They still are linked to a particular culturally specific gender, however rather than those common in Nevira, these patrons are now linked to Jutean genders.
The creator deity Quuros has been conflated with Tael and Amet, is called Taesi in Jutean (after Neviran Taeźi /täɛʑi/), and seen as the patron of the sehukumo or "nurturer" gender of Jute. Hastur is Astul in Jutean (after Neviran Asŧuw /äsθʉɰ/), and seen as the patron of the netumo or "warrior" gender of Jute. Finally, Kevalen (name possibly related to kevan, the Jutean word for altar) has no real equivalent in Qurosism but has some similarities with Karne, especially in physical appearance and the association with thought. Kevalen is the patron saint of the vamejotimo or "magician" gender in Jute, a kind of third gender that is mostly expected to work solitary or communal jobs and not form a family.
Old Qurosist temples from colonial times, the biggest sacral buildings anywhere on Jute, have mostly been rededicated to these patrons, including the large former Tali temple in Sitti mentioned above.
Culture and Society
Values and traditions
Jutean society is rather anarchistic politically and economically, with political authorities generally viewed by locals with suspicion. With no actual executive government in place, the Community Leaders in their function as judges or judge panel chairs are the only accepted authority, an authority that is strictly limited. However, traditions are also widely honored. This is seen as a way of honoring ancestors, recognizing their wisdom and what they have contributed to society. For the same reason, elders are often honored as people with great experience and wisdom as well. Younger people asking them for advice is very common, although less so in modern times with the advent of other sources of information.
The population, including the native minorities, can generally be described furthermore as being more communitarian than individualistic. This is visible in and reinforced both by the political system and the predominant religions, but also many other traditions and rituals, that are meant to reinforce communal bonds, a feeling of togetherness that help keep up morale for work and certain bigger projects.
Nonetheless, this is not taken to extremes, a certain amount of privacy and freedom is granted to every member of a community, however the exact amount can vary significantly from community to community. In fact, self-reliance, both on the individual and communal level, is highly valued. But this, too, is limited, with mutual aid in and between societies seen widely as the most important guiding principle, or at least among the most important ones. Ignoring it, for example by not helping in hard times or unexplained skipping of community meetings can be harshly socially sanctioned, as living together in close-knit communities is seen as vital to the survival and independence of the land and its population.
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With this emphasis on communal living and a communitarian worldview that values working for the collective welfare of a community above individual pursuits, accumulating wealth to pass on to your children and your children alone is not just uncommon, but frowned upon, if not seen as anti-social. Therefore, heirlooms tend to be either things with less material and more sentimental value, or something that belongs to a community in general.
As most of the economy works and relies on a cooperative approach, production of goods and the offer of services relies on shared equipment, rendering it a kind of communal heirloom. Communities themselves may treasure particular records (as do most places in other lands), or other artifacts, such as locally made jewelry, weapons with a particular history or tools and machines important for local trades or industries.
A person may also build up an impressive collection of odd looking stones that has their children clueless as to what they should do with it, or have a dried flower commemorating some important life event. In many households books may also be seen as important heirlooms that children should receive, although this is more commonly the case in communities with no libraries of their own or a particularly strong scholarly/scientific tradition.
Traditional gender roles
Three different culture-specific genders exist in most of Jute, particularly in the regions inhabited by Coastal and River Juteans. These are never assigned at birth, instead they are chosen, with biology playing no role whatsoever, by the parents in the first years of a child's life based on characteristics, behavior and preferences, though other members in a community might suggest or even urge the parents in a particular direction.
With society having grown more open and less socially conservative in recent years, it has become common for children to challenge this decision and for this to be accepted socially. While not all parents already pay heed to it when it happens when the child is still young, almost all but the strictest parents allow their children to select the label they identify with the most either after puberty has started or at the very least after that.
The three genders are called netumo ('guard, sentry'), sehukumo ('nurturer, fosterer'), and kove ('inbetween') The latter term has some negative connotations for some people for reasons which might be obvious, which is why vamejo is often preferred instead nowadays.
A nuclear family originally consisted of a netumo and a sehukumo, with kove/vamejo often the people who were supposed to go childless and devote their life for the community, taking over the tasks no one else could or wanted to take over, though nowadays same-gender marriages and families with vamejo are becoming increasingly common, too.
Vamejo originally is a shortening of vamejotimo, meaning 'sorcerer', 'magician' or 'seer', which refers to the fact that, largely barred from forming a family on their own, they tended to group together in smaller clubs or societies. Many of them had ties, or alleged ties, to magical practices, which is why they also came to be called this. Tasks the community expected them to take over usually included things that required staying alone for a longer time, such as fishing in the ocean, exploring the island for e.g. new food sources, threats or other resources, spiritual guides, mathematicians/astronomers. Mathematicians and astronomers were akin to priests in traditional Saandism, and often also worked as judges. Being a judge was and remains a very unpopular profession in particular, due to the difficulty of coming up with judgments that satisfy all parties involved.
Netumo are traditionally the defenders of the family, children and the home against any outside threats. Aside from that, they are also historically the protectors of the village. These required them often to stay at or near home, though, when on watch duty near the edge of the rainforest, they would also usually gather food or fish in a river (hunting was largely unknown) while keeping an eye out for any predators or other dangers that might be lurking in the wilderness. They were also responsible for repairs at the house and other manual tasks, and often also where the people who worked in the forest gardens. In times of trouble, the netumo of a community would usually first consult their spouse and then come together and discuss how to deal with the problem.
Sehukumo were, as the name implies, expected to be the ones nursing, raising and educating (aside from some of the more practical things, which were taught by netumo) the children. When they lacked the capability to breastfeed for biological reasons, they would either have the children be nursed by a relative, friend or leave that task to the other parent. They usually were also responsible for housekeeping and food preparation. Work in gardens, including forest gardens, was seen as a typical task for sehukumos as well.
Literature has a long tradition on Jute, with telling stories in the evening being an age-old part of daily life for the population. (See prehistory) Nowadays it has developed into a rich variety, with a lot of recent novels being popular abroad as well. Other forms of culture are less common, but still enjoy some popularity. Traditional flute music can often be heard in the streets or in the two opera halls of the island
The ancient story-telling tradition on Jute lives on to this day, unchanged in principle but with the stories at times updated. Those ones are called "living stories" (or tahi a ni) and are more like legends with more fantastical elements. Their name comes from their special characteristic of changing over time to stay relevant for any given society, so the story never becomes just something "strange" from the past. Other stories are supposed to be more historically accurate, like ancient historiography. The main topics include building up of the nonafat or civilization of Jute, the exploration of and survival next to the dangerous wilderness, the conflicts inside and between several societies, and often also ninvohi, or the concept of "finding and accepting one's place in the world".
There is also a creation story, called "the waving story" or tahi a saa, called so because it establishes and explains the cyclical (or "waving") view of history. In anthologies it is usually split into a beginning, containing the initial creation of the world, put in front of the other stories as an introduction, and an ending, describing the transition to a new cycle of history, serving as a conclusion.
After the introduction, the first two stories in anthologies are commonly the "living stories" Tahi a ni a netude ("Living story of the frontier"), narrating the mythical prehistory and Tahi a ni a saanude ("Living story of the ocean"), detailing the voyage of the ancestors of Juteans across the ocean and the sea.
Next is usually the Tahi a saanede a iki a hohi ("Story of the first new beach"), which talks about the discovery of the island, and the Tahi a jutaide ("Story of the settlement"), which narrates the settling down at the coast and the building of the first houses, harvests etc. The remainder do not have a set chronological or other kind of order, and their appearance in anthologies is usually up to the editor.
|Story||Translation of the title||Topic|
|Tahi a Netumode a Saan||"Story of Netumo a Saan"||A story of a famous semi-mythical guard and proto-community leader|
|Tahi a nonaf a livunuhide||"Stories of the communities of the east"||Stories set in different settlements than the most famous ones in the region of modern-day Sitti|
|Tahi a vatasainide||"Story of the Stonepeople"||A story about "stonepeople", a Jutean community called so because they were surrounded by mysterious stone ruins|
|Tahi a nuluade a deletu||"Story of the monkey-like siblings"||A shorter story about two siblings who behaved like monkeys and what happened to them as a result|
|Tahi a nihamode nav netude||"Story of the elders near the border of civilization"||About the wisdom and advice of elders living near the edge of the jungle|
|Tahi a fivoude u lumode a vanede||"Story of storms at sea and the power of nature"||A story depicting the dangers someone boating in the ocean can encounter, a cautionary tale|
|Tahi a tahimode a afuva u hajeohi||"Story of the fat, intelligent storyteller"||A story teaching listeners not to just judge people by their appearance, a story of empowerment|
Theatre and Film
Main article: Jutean cuisine
Cuisine on Jute varies a lot. The more populated coastal regions have largely pescetarian cuisines, dominated by fresh fish, fruits and vegetables. Fish is less common inland, but leaves of the jute plant, and bananas are staples everywhere aside from the mountainous Klambari-speaking region in the east, where they're not really common. Animal husbandry is more important there, and it is the only community with hunting traditions. On the other side, meat was unknown on the settlements lining the shore for the longest period of time, who have appreciated the versatility of the coconut through the ages.
The jute plant and fiber is in modern times used as a symbol for the island, the confederation, and for many ethnic Juteans, representing important values such as an environment-friendly lifestyle, living in harmony with nature and securing the future for coming generations.
Symbols in general are historically rare on the island among the Coastal and River Juteans. To this day, most communities and other groups are known only by name and, when needed, description, having no emblem of their own. These are reserved for groups, professions and people that operate on a larger scale and therefore need a simple way to be recognized.
Among those are the post service, which has for a long time used red thread tied to the legs of carrier pigeons, as well as two red armlets for human messengers, hospital or medical staff would use a necklace covered in blue or green feathers and members of the county, regional or confederation-wide courts use capes (black or dark grey ones for county courts, red ones for regional courts and blue ones for the confederal courts) that show two hands pressed against each other, signifying both the careful consideration of the courts and the agreement of the parties involved to submit to the ruling.