According to the Ontiba, Avotoc were created from Davoto‘s need of helpers to help him manage the graveyard that was and is The GreatSea on Davo. This not only makes the first Avotoc settlements on Davo of historic and religious importance, but also gives etiological insight as to why the Avotoc can breathe underwater as well as in space.
The Avotoc symbol was originally created by Davoto, and was at first rotated 120 degrees to the left, to form the appearance of a pyramid. Davoto’s intent was to symbolically illustrate to the Avotoc how individuals were part of something larger than themselves. Over time, the Avotoc began to draw it rotated in either direction, and this direction has stuck.
|Vanpog, Pale Shores||Lott||Lu’Sca, Mis’Kelin, Skeli|
The Avotoc culture greatly resembles many sea-faring cultures of the real world, in bits and pieces. While their culture itself is not as visibly vibrant as some of the Mediterranean cultures, several customs have been borrowed and modified from their real world counterparts. Fishing and the shipping trade are important to Avotoc, as is pretty much anything that pertains to the seas. Most recreational activities involve the water, or the mountains due to the juxtaposition of high peaks around most Avotoc seas.
Avotoc organize themselves by clan, which are shown by surname. Surnames are before the apostrophe, while given names are after. Avotoc who have left their clan are signified by a single name, likely their given name. Clans are organized by seniority with few exceptions. This is due to the eldest’s closer proximity to Davoto; in this context those Avotoc who have been pronounced dead but continued to live are frequently elevated to seniority.
The reproductive cycle for Avotoc mimics humans’. In their 130 year life cycle, females are able to bear children around 40-90 years of age, while males are able to produce offspring from 50-80. Female Avotoc carry the young Avotoc in a sac made of water inside their hip cavity for a year (~50 weeks), give or take a couple of weeks earlier or later. When the bones of the young Avotoc are hard enough to piece the water sac, the Avotoc is born.
Each community of Avotoc are mostly self-governed, with the eldest members of the more prominent families being delegated to make any important decisions that should come up. The organizational structure on a per-planet-star and -community basis is much less organized than other species’ governing bodies. Crimes on smaller scales are dealt within the community by this process, and within the family on an even smaller scale. Like most sentient species, they are willing (to a degree) to acquiesce when members of O.L.A.H. are present. Most communities function on a capitalist market, allowing business leaders to police themselves.
See Also: Vanpog
Vanpog is known as the capitol of Pale Shores, though since the Avotoc generally prefer local authority over any regional or large-scale governing body, it was made a capitol to appease the Council of Elders long ago, when they ruled the Ad-Hocracy. Now, it functions as more of a welcome center, and second home for the Avotoc elder, should they return to Pale Shores from the O.L.A.H. headquarters. Merchants who are looking for trade partners or routes may also visit Vanpog, as most merchants in Pale Shores have information there.
Main Article: Kaeoubo
Avotoc music might be considered plain from a melodic and rhythmic standpoint when compared to some of the music of other Sentient Species. Avotoc music is limited in that the main focus is the Kaeoubo, a stringed-gourd instrument that can only play up to five different notes at various pitches for any given standardized tuning. Around the time of Before The Wind, some Avotoc musicians had begun to experiment with non-standard tuning to make more notes accessible at once.
Most food consumed is of aquatic nature, with little farm land being available between sandy shores and rugged mountains. Most grain-based food is grown along riverbanks of the rivers that wind between Avotoc settlements and the seas. The most strict religious observers will not eat any non-river fish, believing that sea based fish are sacred for various reasons.
Main Article: Efteta
Most Avotoc are practitioners of Uatti, the belief that accepts the first book of the Ontiba as true. Avotoc in particular hold the belief in a specific afterlife. Since Before Time– according to the Ontiba- the Avotoc have buried the bodies of the deceased Omneuttians in their seas, and their afterlife consists of these souls being transported to one of three star-planets at the center of Avotoc-Space. Their destination depends on their actions and adherence to Davoto’s tenets in life. There are a few separate Avotoc denominations that go against some core parts of Avotoc faith, though most denominations agree on the majority of their religious beliefs.
Avotoc wear loose clothing in general to keep out the sand and also to keep cool along the beach. They mostly dress in layers so that they can move inland or closer to the shore depending on their activities on any given day. Their wardrobe largely determined by profession, Avotoc do not have a “professional” attire compared to the other Sentient Species, rather they value the practicality of their clothes over any fashion statement.
Presently, Avotoc architecture revolves around the sea and invokes their sailing traditions and heritage with the use of sailing ship hulls being invoked in their design. Homes are based mostly on upside-down hulls, as well as hulls inverted at a 90-degree angle from an upright position. Businesses and larger buildings are based off of bows tilted at various angles, larger angles for a larger building. Smaller shops and stores, as well as shopping centers are based off of full-size ships that are partially buried under the sand.
Like almost every other aspect of Avotoc culture, the ships of Avotoc evoke the Age of Sail with large wooden ships. Unlike their real world counterparts, Avotoc ships also need to travel through space and are equipped to do so with the help of solar sails and engine technology that is in-part designed by the Poria. Solar Sails are modular and designed in triangles that are usually equilateral, but can vary for different sail shapes. Most sails that are used on ships are various triangles and rectangles, with some sails being rectangular with a triangle on one side to catch just an extra bit of wind, whether solar or natural.