The following material contains excerpts from my course “An Introduction to Kettlah Sociology”, that I have been teaching at Kolegi around The Hilt for 8 years now. The course is designed for younger turths, or other Sentient Species before deciding on more advanced sociological studies.
We begin by looking at the culture in small groups: what would be a family unit in cultures like the Turath. For Kettlah, in a tribal society there is no family unit, rather one large homogenous group. Coupling Kettlah will most frequently remain monogamous, but their offspring are not raised by a single set of parents for most of their pre-adult life. For a newborn phase, Kettlah are usually raised by their parents, but can be raised collectively if no parents are available. Kettlah do not raise more than one newborn per pair, but if no parents or free pairs are found, several pairs will share the responsibility.
A particular issue in Kettlah culture is the social construction of individuality and the self. As a newborn, a Kettlah has a decade to understand the responsibilities and aspects of an individual within the tribe. This phase is instrumental in shaping Kettlah who can both contribute to tribal society, and go out into Omneutta and be a productive citizen. The choice is then left to the individual to make based on their own desires and self interests, but is the responsibility of the tribe to raise a Kettlah able to make that choice, rather than raising a Kettlah forced one way or the other. The causal importance of rearing cannot be understated as a responsibility of the pairs.
Kettlah society as a whole is made up of individuals whose nature—the tribes and their individuals—is shaped by the environment. Because of the sheer distance from where Kettlah live, the valleys and cliff sides where the rare fauna live in Vale Reef (in addition to the fact that we do not have mouthes), Kettlah are herbivores. It would be too time and energy consuming to drag animals up, so we drag the same weight of plants up, which feed more Kettlah for the same amount of work. Kettlah eat by absorbing nutrients from plants through their tendrils along their arms, leaving behind withered plant material. This makes meals with Kettlah a lot quieter and quite clean! In addition to the dietary restrictions environment has shaped the Kettlah with, the tribal society is impacted by the environment in other ways. Kettlah are nomadic, moving from pillar to pillar across bridges that we built long ago, or through ships for more modern Kettlah tribes, in search of locations where the vegetation is ripe and plentiful. Without space to leave them, we do not value material possessions, or items that only possess aesthetic value. This also extends to clothes. Since we have no outward organs, we do not possess an inherent body modesty as a species, and instead only wear clothing made from beads that represent things like longevity, accomplishments, and contributions.