I was having so much fun writing all this Kai'us stuff that I thought I'd spill things over into this month and get science-y; discussing a little about Kai'us genetics and how they avoid inadvertent inbreeding. Both these topics are very briefly touched on in the novel I'm working on (currently called "The Kai'us Planet"), but obviously they're far too involved to go into in-depth in the book, so I'll post about them here.
This week's post will be about the complex clan system Kai'us' use to ensure couples aren't too closely related. It's not fool-proof though because people as close as second cousins would be able to marry, and sometimes people who we wouldn't consider even remotely related wouldn't be able to wed. Still, it certainly keeps siblings and first cousins away from each other at the very least.
Though the dynamics are there (and have been for years), there's certain details I'm still hammering out, like: should each race have 24, 32, or even 64 clans? How much bearing should a person's clans have on how they're viewed in society? Are there "good" clans and "bad" clans for instance? What should the clans be called?
I've thought of the Cave Kai'us clan names being after birds and things related to birds (they REALLY like birds!); Spider Kai'us' having insect and small, desert-dwelling creatures names; Mountain Kai'us' having names to do with stones, jewels, and metals; Winged Kai'us' after types of trees and plants; but that's a whole boat-load of vocab I've haven't even begun to hit on yet! (And that's just the Old Races!!)
So for the sake of argument, I'll do this break-down with just numbers (which is how I've been doing it thus far). Even with this simple labeling system though it's likely still going to get confusing, so I'll do my best to keep things simple.
Unfortunately it gets insane right out of the starting gate: each and every Kai'us is identified by four separate clans, and how they're ordered is slightly different depending on if you're a boy or a girl.
First I invite you to re-familiarize yourself with the Punnett Square that you likely learned about in biology class concerning bean plants, fruit flies, and blood types. Though it'll relate more to my next post about Kai'us racial genetics, it's general principle will come in handy with the clan break-downs as well.
With that in mind, you get your first clan name from the parent who's the same gender as you.
Your second clan name comes from the first clan of your opposite-gendered parent.
You get your third clan and fourth clans from your grandparents (that part will be easier to show than tell).
Let's break it down from the beginning starting with the "first man" and the "first woman".
The colors are arbitrary by the way. I’m just using them to separate things out a little better visually (you’ll thank me in a moment).
The boy’s first clan is the same as his Dad’s.
The girl’s first clan is the same as her Mother’s.
And their second clan is the first clan of their other parent.
(Obviously for this example their parents only have one clan, but this will work even if there’s the normal four clans involved; we're starting out simple here.)
Now, these kids can’t hook up because they share clans.
Even if just one clan is shared between two people, they can’t get married.
Lucky for these kids, their parents had neighbors of completely different clans!
Now let’s see what happens when all these young people get married and have kids.
This chart is likely going to look like an overwhelming mess, so let’s take a looksie at just one grandbaby.
Following the numbers (and handy colors), you can see that this young man’s first clan is the first clan of his father and his paternal grand-father.
His second clan is his mother’s first clan as well as his maternal grand-mother.
His third clan is his father’s second clan, which is the first clan of his paternal grand-mother.
And his fourth clan is his Mom’s second clan, same as his maternal grand-father’s first clan.
If you scroll back up, you can see that his sister’s clans are the same as his, just reversed.
His cousins' clans are also the same, just flopped top to bottom
Now let’s go one more generation and see what happens.
As you can see, half of the clans get lost by the fourth generation, but the first clans of all the men carry through as do the first clans of all the women.
This is why it’s so important to Kai’us parents that they have at least one boy and one girl.
Boys carry on their father’s clans and girl’s carry on their mother’s lines.
Because the people living in a village can become very related very quickly, the clan system helps keep straight just who are cousins and who are a little too closely related for comfort.
To give young people more options in the potential mate department, groups of villages gather together once every four years or so in a great festival called, "Keush-na-eekai" which translates roughly to the "Gathering of Young People". Here eligible folks wear colored ribbons or beads to clearly display their clans. They show off their skills and talents in various games of skill involving archery, races, and the like; or they'll set up "booths" where they can show off their crafts in weaving or pottery-making, etc.
Obviously these games and displays aren't just limited to the unmarried; anyone is welcome to participate. These gatherings are an excellent opportunity to trade with others outside of one's home village and to see new techniques for making products and tools.
Village chiefs also have an opportunity at these festivals to discuss crops, births, deaths, and any problems they may have run into in the years between Gatherings.
There's music, singing, dancing and story telling in abundance at these multi-day events, and of course plenty of food.
If two people meet up who like each other, they'll spend time at the festival to get to know each other. It typically doesn't take long for Kai'us' to determine if they like a particular person or not due to their telepathy.
Matches are made purely at the young people's discretion; parents are rarely directly involved in who their children choose to marry. It's actually the villages chiefs (each village is run by a husband/wife pair) who make the ultimate decision if a potential match is a good one.
If the two young people are from different villages, the two sets of chiefs will sit down together and discuss what the young couple will contribute to the village they would live in and then determine which village needs those particular skills more. If both villages already have a glut of what the pair has to offer, they'd be encouraged to move to another village where they'd be more useful.
Either way, once married, a young person leaves their parents' house and moves in with their new spouse. When a person marries, they're considered part of the whole village rather than just their parents' families.
And so there's your glimpse into Kai'us clans and how they work.
Be sure to come back next time for an explanation of Kai'us racial genetics!