-= The Kai People =-
(Above are two paintings of modern Kai.)
The Kai (kānaka ʻōiwi) are the native polynesian people originating from the Isles of Axios or their descendants. The Kai trace their ancestry back to the heavenly lands of Makuahine, a mysterious place where flora, fauna and humankind thrive in harmony and prosper in serenity.
The Kai are farfolk people with a sturdy stature and deep golden brown skin. They possess a sort of rugged, if not earthy and primal beauty. Kai are often well-worn with a lean or fairly muscular build, thanks to their underlying craving for physical labour, exercise or mentality to stay in shape. They bear thick brunette or black locks, often ranging from wavy to tightly coiled in texture, or threaded into dreads. Males are prone to medium amounts of facial hair, though it is a common practice to shave with a sharpened blade. Kai people are of average stature, standing anywhere between 5’5 to 6’2 tall.
For the Kai, long hair is a symbol of strength and power-- the clearest token of a real warrior. Due to this, locks of hair are important talisman for this culture. When a family member dies, instead of ashes, a lock of hair is collected and cherished as a remnant of the dead. Locks of hair from a well-known warrior may also be passed down, having the same title as a lucky charm. The Kai enjoy decorating their hair with small wreaths of flowers, or golden rings if they have dreads. It is also common to cover their bodies in tribal tattoos as well as piercings.
The Kai, like their human brethren, are relatively short-lived, mortal, in comparison to the Mali. They have an average lifespan of 80 years, the oldest being 120 years old (though few ever reach this age). Due to their limited lifespan, most tend to be quick-paced and overlook small details that may contain a wealth of information.
These people have a thick and sultry accent. They speak with emphasis in their words at a fast pace and tend to use hand gestures to make a point.
After their discovery sometime in the 17th century, the Kai people have steadily lost their language, adopting the more widespread and accepted language, common. The Kai language has taken a more symbolic part of their culture, reminding them of the times before their islands were encroached into. Modern Kai speak in common tongue, occasionally adding in a few Kai phrases. Elders, however, take pleasure in speaking their full native tongue.
Mahalo- thank you.
'A'ole pilikia- you're welcome.
Hui- (formal) hey you!
E kala mai- sorry or excuse me.
Howzit- (informal) how are you?
A hui hou- until we meet again.
Haole- foreigner or white people.
Huhu- angry/mad at/offended.
Lei- necklace made of flowers and seashells.
Pakalolo- cactus green.
The Kai people are born into or are entitled to choose a respective family (Ohana) to join. Each Ohana is led by a single elder, usually the oldest member of the family, however ruling can vary depending on their leadership qualities and the overall democracy of their brothers and sisters. Families tend to have noticeable personality traits, as well as subtle differences in ideologies, though individual Ohanas tend to be linked by their common belief in the Gods and Goddesses of Makuakane. Friendly rivalry is often displayed between families, either shown in various festivities or sporting events.
Below are the respective families:
-= PONO =-
People of this family are passionate, caring, courageous and confident. They tend to be looked up to in society, as they have been the ruling family for as long as the Kai have existed. They stay true to their word, and are usually more forthcoming and honest than manipulative and cunning. They don’t hold grudges often and are people of a forgiving and understanding nature. However, this does not mean they forget the actions of others. It takes a lot for a Pono to hate someone or something, but when they do, they do it wholeheartedly.
Their downfall is in their trusting nature. As youth and adolescents, they tend to trust in others far too often, and believe nearly everyone has nothing but good intentions. Elders and adults are more weary, as they have learnt from their previous mistakes, however they are never as skeptical and untrusting as the Pelekai family.
The people of this family are not only loyal to the Chiefdom, but to anyone in close relation with them-- family, friends, lovers, pets and even household objects or plants. If you are valued by a Pono, you are instantaneously placed on a pedestal and treated like family.
Like most Kai, they are known to be strong warriors. Their talents, however, lay in dirty brawling. The combination of a tankard of ale and a fighting spirit makes for a fearsome fighter in the ring. The Pono, particularly males, are infamous for being late-night drunkards. They drink alcohol like coconut water, or conversely, with coconut water.
They are slightly sybaritic in nature, with a love and appreciation for luxuries and the pleasures of life. You can often see them wearing gold jewellery and native flowers in their hair.
Associations: sun, fire, Goddess Pele (Goddess of the Sun and Volcanoes, and Lady of Fire, Intimacy and Initiative).
-= KALAWAI’A =-
The Kalawai’a are friendly, compassionate, gentle and intuitive people. Due to their loving nature, they often find themselves in the company of a very diverse crowd. They are usually selfless and willing to help others with no ulterior motive of receiving something in return.
You could call them extroverted introverts. Though they have a thorough understanding of reading people’s emotions, the Kalawai’a rarely express their own feelings, to acquaintances or even good friends. Sometimes, this need to bottle up their thoughts can lead to a negative build-up and bring out their less appealing, more moody side.
The Kalawai’a are notorious for their parenting instincts. At festivities, they are usually there to mother the drunk and comfort the sad. This has earned themselves a good reputation, especially amongst the Kai that are most prone to partying too hard.
In the battlefield, they are especially adept at using long ranged weapons. They often stick to lightweight armour, or no armour at all, and fight with longbows as well as short knives.
The trees and bushes are a Kalawai’a’s best friend. These people are particularly skilled in making do with their environment. Like all Kai, they are raised with a love for flora and fauna. Unlike the other families, the Kalawai’a are especially engrossed in the protection, growth and love of it. Often, the children of this family are found swimming in the seas at midnight or, in the times they aren’t contributing to the community, constructing treehouses and discovering new plants.
Associations: flora & fauna, the sea, God Ka Haku (Protector of the Seas), Goddess Honua (Patron of Arts and Nature).
-= PELEKAI =-
Adaptable, mischievous, resourceful and curious are words that come to mind when a Pelekai is mentioned. These people are expressive and quick-witted, with a knack for unintentionally offending uptight people with their sarcastic comments and dark humour.
They are fascinated with the world around them, and are often confronted with the feeling that they may not have enough time to explore it. This need for exploration often gets Pelekai children in trouble and their parents worried, as they are prone to sneaking into the jungle at night and returning with an ensnared, dead animal.
The sacred transition between life and death is something that intrigues the Pelekai. Because of this, they are well versed in the art of hunting. It is a rare occasion that an adult Pelekai hunts for sport, children and adolescents more often making the mistake.
Pelekai generally find themselves crafting new weaponry to contribute to the Lanakila. Their love for hunt and battle leads them to developing more effective and useful weapons that can aid in their success.
In the fighting ring, Pelekai are swift and efficient. They tend to favour small or slender blades that pierce the skin before the victim is aware of it.
What often comes as a surprise is that they’re meticulous about their presentation. The Pelekai enjoy donning simplistic yet elegant garments. They favour silver accents as well as jewellery, which is often crafted from leftover pieces of their weaponry work.
Associations: silver, God Maul (Minister of Manipulation and Blood), Goddess Kaua (Lady of Warcraft, Hunting and Wit).
-= IKAIKA =-
The Ikaika collective are patient, devoted, diligent and stable. As a result of their mature nature, Ikaika often find themselves finishing up tasks that the other families don’t follow through with. For this, they are heavily respected and appreciated in the community for their commitment to the Chiefdom and its people.
These people have a deep-rooted presence in the materialistic world. Their approaches to tasks are systematic and logical. They tend to display their skill in agricultural jobs such as farming and managing livestock. The Kai are always at their peak in resources when the Ikaika are on the job.
Additionally, they are especially attuned to the ingredients that make up a whole, in food and everything else. Craftsmanship excels in the Ikaika family-- from armour to recipes to construction, these people are crafty with a refined taste for perfection in their results. They’re hyper-aware of every detail.
Though Ikaika are meticulous in their pursuits, constantly chasing after the ideal can be a destructive part of their nature. They often need to be reminded that flaws are not defects and that there is always leeway for imperfections.
The Ikaika may seem conservative and restrained at first, this family’s close friends and lovers know these hard workers love to party. The Ikaika like to loosen up after a long day at work and party with the Pono, often tolerating more alcohol than one would think and ending the night with a drunk speech.
Associations: sky, mountains, moon, Goddess Lono (Keeper of the Moon and Rain, and the Lady of Stability, Purity and Air).
Religion is a large part of Kai society. Gods and goddesses are worshipped daily and offerings are a common practice. Religion contributes to a lot of the Kais’ morals, laws and values in daily life and politics.
Each individual puts heavy faith into the Mother God, Makuahine, as it is believed that she was the one that brought the Gods and Goddesses of Makuakane as well as the Kai to existence. Most families seek guidance in not only Makuahine, but different, individual divine figures that are believed to bless their unique daily work and attitude.
-= MAKUAHINE =-
Makuahine is the Mother of all Gods and Goddesses, Creator of the Kai and Guardian of the Light.
-= MAUL =-
Often referred to as the 'Dark God', Maul is the Minister of Manipulation and Blood.
He was exiled from the 'Light', home to all Gods alike, and set out to make a realm of his own named 'The Darkness'. There, he ruled with cruelty and ruthless bloodlust in mind, alongside his consort Kaua.
Depicted with mighty tusks of a boar and beady, scarlet eyes.
-= KA HAKU =-
Ka Haku is the firstborn child of Makuahine.
He is Protector of the Seas and Lord of all Gods. His birth, which is celebrated on Lawai’a, is said to have surrounded the lands with blessed oceans brimming with both beautiful fish and feared monsters.
He is depicted as a human that has the lower half of a Merfolks'.
-= KAUA =-
Kaua was a goddess not born at the hands of Makuahine, but just another Kai. During her human life, Kaua was a virtually ambitious and dark soul. She not only overindulged in the meat of animals, but found pleasure in others' pain. Maul discovered the girl who reeked of death and was delighted to find that she happily went under his arm. The Dark God turned Kaua from human to deity, and she grew to become one of the most powerful goddesses among the others.
Kaua is the Lady of Warcraft, Hunting and Wit.
Deaths attributed to her are brutal, bloody and slow.
-= HONUA =-
Honua was always her mothers' favorite. She turned curiosity into knowledge, cruelty into kindness, the bad to good.
She is the Patron of Arts and Nature, and the Bearer of Wisdom and Learning.
Honua was known for her acts of generosity. Once, when gods walked on the lands of the Kai, Honua treated the people as if they were her equals and even sought out to school children.
-= LONO AND PELE =-
Lono is the Keeper of the Moon and Rain, and the Lady of Purity and Air as well as the twin to Pele.
Pele is the Goddess of the Sun and Volcanoes, and Lady of Fire, Intimacy and Initiative.
These twins were always two sides to one coin- Lono was quiet and calm while Pele sought her long life with courage and ambition. Lono was always envious of Pele's nature and never content with her own actions. A one-sided rivalry began where Pele never failed to win. One day, a furious Lono brought chaos upon Pele, flooding rolling hills and small volcanoes with sheets of pelting rain, which isolated the Kai to a string of islands.
Makuahine saw the troubles that would arise if the twins continued fighting and confined her daughters.
Lono was sealed into the moon and Pele bound to the sun.
FESTIVALS AND RITES
-= LANAKILA (The Heavenly Victory) =-
Men and women of all ages are brought together in a clash of fists. Two competitors are placed in a ring to fight until surrender. This is an honored bonding experience between both Kai, and often celebrated after with strong liquor and new tattoos. The festival is made to please Maul, the God of Manipulation and Blood and Kaua, the Goddess of Warcraft, Hunting and Wisdom.
-= LAWAI'A (The Great Retrieve) =-
Kai are set behind a red line, sturdy spears in hand. The Kai are required to spear a fish of hefty size and present it to the judge. The one with the largest fish is deemed the winner, and the rest of the fish are safely released back into the ocean. A feast follows the event and a small offering is brought to Ka Haku's shrine.
-= MA'ALILI (The Hot after the Cold) =-
This festival takes place when the moon is at its peak. A select few Kai, generally men, leap into baths of freezing cold and then walk on a path of hot coals. Those who are great enough to endure are treated to hot liquor and claps on the back. This is often a way of attracting women as it displays the males’ sense of endurance and strength. The feat of bravery is dedicated to Lono, the Goddess of Rain and Pele, the Goddess of Volcanoes.
Traditional Kai clothing tends to consist of a heavy array of jewelry and light, airy fabric. It's not unusual to wear revealing items in order to display your hard earned tattoos, triumphant battle scars and honed body. During festivities, it is a tendency to wear stringy hula skirts or grass loincloths, vibrant paint and flower crowns.
Armor and weaponry is another factor of fashion. The weapons you carry tend to speak for the family you belong to, as well as your individual taste and attitude.
Since their exposure to haole in the 17th century, the Kai have taken a liking to their more advanced and practical clothing. Some have even developed a taste for foreign fabrics and styles. This comes as a convenience, as they have begun to explore colder regions in the realms that aren’t suited to their traditional garments.
The Kai Council consists of several roles, all created to satisfy the community’s needs and wellbeing as best they can.
The most similar description for the type of government the Kai live under is monarchy.
The political system is based upon the undivided rule of a single person, which achieves his or her position through hereditary.
Most of this is accurate.
The Kai are dictated by the Ali, whose position is bestowed upon by the previous ruler. The new Ali may be of hereditary descent, or an unrelated individual that is recognised for their leadership qualities and potential.
Often, the community’s thoughts on a subject matter are taken into heavy consideration before an impactful choice is made.
-= ALI (HIGH CHIEF/CHIEFTESS) =-
It is within the best interest of the High Chief to listen to the peoples' opinions and suggestions.
The Ali ensures that the community runs smoothly.
-= ELUA (RIGHT HAND) =-
The Elua is the second-in-command, or otherwise right hand, and is expected to assist the Ali as well as act as the Chief Judge.
Whenever the Ali is away, either for business or otherwise, the Elua takes charge until the Ali has returned.
-= KUENE (HIGH EXCHEQUER) =-
The Kuene is responsible for the community's resources and wealth.
They handle any financial issues and trade relations between the Kai and others.
-= IKOA (HIGH COMMANDER) =-
The Ikoa leads the Kai when it comes to war.
They devise battle plans, manage armor and weaponry, and train the Kai to be suitable warriors.
-= KONOHIKI (HIGH STEWARD) =-
A Konohiki administers the land ruled by the Ali.
They ensure that people are housed and deal with damaged properties as well as activity checks.
-= HO’OKU (EMISSARY) =-
The Ho'oku is the representative and role model of the Kai.
The Ho'oku is required to attend formal meetings alongside the Ali and assist in creating relations between two peoples.
They are expected to know basic information about the current nations.
-= NO'EAU (ADVISOR) =-
The No'eau is the advisor. They attend formal meetings alongside the Ali and the Ho'oku.
They are considered the third-in-command.
(NOTE: this culture was created back in Axios. This is a forum post with updated information on the Kai.)
(This is a brief rundown. Posts will be made in the future to go into detail about aspects of this culture.)
(PM me if you're interested in making, joining or sponsoring the Kai.)