Physical Appearance and Structure
A Kurabanda stands 1.2 meters tall and looks somewhat like a tarsier monkey. It has large round eyes and large pointed moveable ears. It can swivel its head around and look behind its back. A Kurabanda's hands and feet have special pads for better grasping. These pads are filled with blood storage vessels, and permit more blood to be kept in the fingers and toes, allowing for a better grip than any Human could manage, since the muscles are less subject to fatigue. A Kurabanda's tail is prehensile. In the course of evolution, Kurabanda have lost some of the heavy fur which originally covered their bodies. A Kurabanda'a torso is covered with fur, but its head, hands, feet and tail are bare. Its arms and legs are covered with fine hair that looks like soft down.
Kurabanda senses are similar to those of Humans, although they will demonstrate superior vision in dense woodland environments. The Kurabanda's enhanced field of vision makes it difficult creature to surprise, an ability that helps to give them an edge over most of their predators or adversaries.
The Kurabanda use varied means of communication and use calls which are often associated with territorial maintenance and group spacing. Its "loud call" is a piercing single note. When content, it emits a sound similar to a soft sweet bird-like twill. And when several Kurabanda come together, they have a chirping, locust-like sound.
Its vocal communication ranges from a primitive language among adults to distress calls made by infants when they are separated from their mothers. There are also loud whooping warning calls made by males to other Kurabanda males. Its olfactory communication is the marking of a scent from the circumoral gland which the female uses to mark her mate with the gland located around the mouth. It is also the marking of a male's personal territory or items with the use of urine. Its tactile communication is the social grooming done when one Kurabanda grooms the other, removing dead skin and parasites, observed in females on adult males, as well as in females on their offspring.
Society and Customs
Kurabanda hold physical prowess and the glory of dangerous exploits as ideals. Their value system is based on the perceived image of honor. A respected Kurabanda is one who is a good hunter, a good fighter, and an individual who upholds the honor of the family. A Kurabanda who does not hold to these ideals or who does not take revenge for an insult is disgraced in the eyes of his family and his clan.
In Kurabanda society, if one Kurabanda is harmed, his or her entire family is considered to have been insulted. Blood feuds are not common, but do occur. To avoid feuds it is usually necessary to pay compensation to the injuried parties. Clan blood feuds can also be avoided by a system of ritualized vengeance. The vengeance is aimed at forcing the victim to lose prestige.
Kurabanda constantly try to outdo each other with showy displays of wealth. A family will put on an incredibly lavish feast to honor its ancestors and show its neighbors how successful the family is. Occasionally, the feast may be part of ritualized vengeance. A guest of honor may actually be mocked by an excessive display of wealth. It is difficult for outsiders to tell the difference between mocking a guest of honor and honoring the guest, but Kurabanda always know. An insulted guest can take revenge at the feast by presenting the host with even more lavish gifts. A blood feud can also be declared at a later time.
Kurabanda are also natural jokers. Practical jokes are common, usually played on non-treedwelling guests. Some typical practical jokes are:
1) The Fake Vine Joke: Non-Kurabanda guests are given a vine which will break when used to swing from limb to limb. Hidden below the area is a safety net to catch the victim.
2) Snipe Hunting: Guests are invited to hunt some mythical creature. They will be told to remain in one spot while the Kurabanda drive the creature into the trap. The Kurabanda will then go back to the village to have a good laugh while the victim waits in vain.
3) The Fire Joke: A group of Kurabanda will wave phosphorescent torches simulating a fire. They will yell that the forest is on fire and will lead guests on a harrowing escape which circles around only to end back at the original village.
4) Flea Joke: Kurabanda put small biting insects in the guest's bed so they can watch the victim itch. The Kurabanda live in the bachanda tree forest.
They hunt not only in the forest, but also in the adjacent dry plains and rocky barrens. Kurabanda often hunt in large packs and surround their prey. They also hunt with various types of traps, or by hiding at frequented spots, such as waterholes, and waiting for game to arrive. The Kurabanda increased the range of their hunt by inventing a type of hang glider. Kurabanda live in tree- villages. The villages consist of a number of large houses made of branches, leaves, and vines. Each house is that of a different extended family.
Also in the village are the men's hut and women's hut, which are special buildings for one or the other sex. These two huts are something like club houses for each sex, and serve as places of relaxation outside the house. Each clan also maintains a special hut.
Kurabanda society is based on the family and kinship. Without understanding the importance of family ties, one cannot understand Kurabanda society. An individual's family relationship also defines that individual's rights and duties. Kin terms are exact. Instead of "cousin" a Kurabanda has Father's Brother's Sons, Mother's Brother's Daughters, etc. Each relationship is somewhat different. For example, a man could count on his Father's Brother's Sons to stand by him in battle but he could only count on his Mother's Brother's Sons for a small amount of financial support in times of extreme emergency.
The basic kin group is the extended family. An extended family would include a patriarch and his kin. A patriarch is usually the oldest married male. Living with him would be his wives, their adult sons, the sons' wives, the adult grandsons, the grandsons' wives, all unmarried adult daughters, and all the children of the various marriages. An extended family averages 20-40 people, but could range from 10 to 100 individuals. A patriarch can order the family to be divided if the number or people living in his household becomes too large.
The next most important group is the clan. A clan is all the extended families with the same last name. All members of the clan are descendants of the one who gave his name to the clan. The actual descent is sometimes hard to trace since the clan founder is sometimes a mythical individual directly related to the gods. All Kurabanda families who live in one forest form a tribe. The final organization is that of the Kurabanda people, who are all descended from Kurabanda, "The First Ancestor".
Kurabanda have a strong sense of territoriality. The hunting area belongs to the tribe and other tribes may not trespass. Each clan and extended family also have their smaller hunting territories inside the Tribe's territory. One of the most prevalent types of cases in court is a suit involving boundaries between hunting territories. Kurabanda trace their descent through the male line and all children have their father's last names. Married sons remain in the household of their father while married daughters join the households of their husband's fathers. It is illegal for anyone to marry a member of the same clan. A male may have as many wives as he can support. In fact, a male's social standing increases if he has many wives, but it is a great dishonor to have more wives than can be supported. A marriage is not seen as primarily a love relationship between two individuals, but as an alliance between two families. The goods that are exchanged before a marriage ceremony are gestures of good faith on the part of both families. Despite the rather formal method by which marriages are arranged, the concept of love is not unknown to the Kurabanda. In fact, a common theme throughout Kurabanda literature involves two lovers defying their families in order to remain together. Many long-running feuds have such situations at their roots.
Each Kurabanda tribe has a chief. When the old chief dies, his eldest son becomes chief, provided that he is willing to fight for the chieftainship. If no one in the tribe challenges the right of the candidate to be chief, the candidate automatically becomes chief for life. Any male who is the head of an extended family may, however, challenge the candidate to trial by combat. if several individuals challenge, there is a preliminary fight which eliminates all the challengers except one. That challenges then fights the candidate for the chieftainship. The winner is the new chief. All challenge matches are to the death. If a chief possesses the Sacred Idol, he is proclaimed chief of chiefs and is entitled to lead all the Kurabanda if the need should arise. Kurabanda law is based on tradition and custom. Cases are tried by a council of elders chosen from the major families of a clan. The council interprets the traditional law for all cases. Kurabanda religion is influenced by "magic", controlled by experts known as shamans. Shamans often try to shift the blame to innocent victims when "magic"doesn't work, accusing the scapegoat of being an evil witch.
The Kurabanda believe in the magic of "power objects". These ward off evil and give good luck. The objects may be anything: an odd shaped pebble, a dried leaf, and so forth. The most omportant power objects, however, are art objects left over from Eorna civilization. One such object is the Sacred Idol. The Keeper of the Sacred Idol is the only individual who can unite all the Kurabanda. The closest thing to worship for the Kurabanda is the cult of the ancestors. Every Kurabanda house has its own shrine where the ancestors of the family and clan are honored. The chief is responsible for the care of the tribal shrine. Kurabanda consider that the ancestors can help the family after death, much as they did during life. If anything, ancestors will have increased power, since they now live in the realm of the spirits. Sacrifices are made to obtain the goodwill of the ancestors.
Attitudes and behavior that will be likely to cause an unfriendly reaction in the Kurabanda include poor sportsmanship, an angry reaction to a practical joke, declining to accept a gift, and giving a valuable gift to a Kurabanda without allowing a good chance of paying it back. on the other hand, the Kurabanda will be unsure how to deal with Humans. Dralasites and Kurabanda have in common a rather overdeveloped sense of humor. Usually, the two races will get along fine. The Vrusks will seem so alien to the Kurabanda that they will be viewed with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity. The Yazirians will be well-received by the Kurabanda because of the physical similarities between the two races.
(Cited form SF1 "Volturnus, Planet of Mystery", and art and into by Ragnarr)