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[SG Faire: Aiel] Real of Time: A Culture Discussion

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Just like the Domani seems to be based on Far East-stereotypes, I think the Ebou Dari are based on pirate-stereotypes.

 

with the fighting women?

 

What about the Atha'an Miere and the Jendai Prophecy?

 

I'm clueless on them, dark-skinned sailors, tattoos might make sense in a sailing context, but I can't place the harsh merchantness and general closed-mouthedness

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The Atha'an Miere are the real collection of pirate stereotypes in my opinion.  Tan skinned, tatooed, and mired in all sorts of pirate-like superstitions.  The sented boxes on chains are English though, although their name seems to have a Spanish ring to my ears.  (I also find it interesting they are one of the few WoT cultures to keep the two name with earned third name structure of the AoL.)  This makes some sense as some of the most famous pirates were said to sail the Spanish Main.

 

Merchantile attitudes and the love of barganning makes me think of the East Indian Trading Company and other such merchants of the tall-ship days.  It is also a stereotype of pirates throughout popular myth.

 

As far as the Atha'an Miere name...  "Athanasios" means "immortal" in Greek, and the second half of the name most likely comes from the latin word "mare", meaning "sea".  So, maybe RJ was calling them the "immortal sea"?  Just a thought there.

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Just like the Domani seems to be based on Far East-stereotypes, I think the Ebou Dari are based on pirate-stereotypes.

Altara and Ebou Dar could be based of post-renaissance Italy, a collection of city-states, the love of duelling, the buildings in the Rahad falling into disrepair like many of the buildings in Rome.

 

I don't know much about the Apache culture, but I can definately see the Zulu, beduin and even possibly Masai cultures in the Aiel. Instead of japanese for the inspiration of Aiel Honour we should look at the Chinese instead. This would also explain the different warrior societies (there were many different schools of martial arts, all of whom guarded its secrets).

 

No arguments that Andor is Tudor England; the Two Rivers is either Medieval England or possibly Wales.

 

I believe Sheinar is based on the Japanese, they have as much honour as the Aiel, are a warrior culture but are more rigid than the Aiel. There is a definate caste system in Shienar that the Aiel do not have. Everyone knows their place and their duty.

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Any thoughts on the Seanchan? The Tairen? Illianers? The other Borderlands?

 

I see possible ties between the Cairhien and the French.

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Cairhien is definately french, even the description of the accent has a hint of French.

 

I would say Saldaea could be the Mongols, light horsemen, fierce fighters, etc.

 

Amadacia is Stuart England around the redtoration; ruled by Puritans, but the royalty and nobility love to party.

 

Tear I'm not sure of, Spain sounds right but I can see hints of the ottoman empire in there as well; the privilages of the rich, the fine horse stock.

 

The Sea Folk may be Pacific Islanders, the colouring and hair seem right and the Islanders were probably the best mariners for years.

 

Seanchan is almost definately Fuedal Japanese, the aggressive expansionism, honour and ritual suicide, the fact the empress seems to be regarded a a diety, rigid class structure and the ninjas, I mean bloodknives.

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It always seemed apparent to me that the Aiel were based on the Ancient Irish (a few reasons below). Robert Jordan just moved them from a rainy wee Ireland in the Atlantic to a desert setting.

 

The importance of Honour - to the point of ridiculous - is a feature of both cultures, more so than even in the culture of somewhere like Feudal Japan.

 

The clan system, the constant inter-clan raiding and warfare, the formalized warfare, the lack of armour, the favoured ambush tactics, the spear being their primary weapon, their love of books and learning, the red hair (though few Irish actually have red hair despite what the popular view is), the fact that the Aiel and Tuatha'an are of the same people just separated by time - OBVIOUSLY the Tuatha'an are the Irish Travellers, their name alone is Irish and their way of life is very similar (bar the way of the leaf, Irish travellers being somewhat more inclined towards violence!).

 

 

Having said all the above, all the cultures in WoT are a mixed bag to one extent or another. RB also seems to have borrowed from the Irish in some respects with regard to the Seanchan and their concept of he geas which is lifted directly from Irish culture.

 

Any thoughts??

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It always seemed apparent to me that the Aiel were based on the Ancient Irish (a few reasons below). Robert Jordan just moved them from a rainy wee Ireland in the Atlantic to a desert setting.

 

The importance of Honour - to the point of ridiculous - is a feature of both cultures, more so than even in the culture of somewhere like Feudal Japan.

 

The clan system, the constant inter-clan raiding and warfare, the formalized warfare, the lack of armour, the favoured ambush tactics, the spear being their primary weapon, their love of books and learning, the red hair (though few Irish actually have red hair despite what the popular view is), the fact that the Aiel and Tuatha'an are of the same people just separated by time - OBVIOUSLY the Tuatha'an are the Irish Travellers, their name alone is Irish and their way of life is very similar (bar the way of the leaf, Irish travellers being somewhat more inclined towards violence!).

 

 

Having said all the above, all the cultures in WoT are a mixed bag to one extent or another. RB also seems to have borrowed from the Irish in some respects with regard to the Seanchan and their concept of he geas which is lifted directly from Irish culture.

 

Any thoughts??

copy nd paseted from whn I wrot this months ago soemwhr else:

 

The Aiel remind me of the Gael, at least of Éire, of ancient times. The name aside (Aiel,Gael), one the names of the closest equivalent to gods in the old culture was the aes Sídhe, and as the Gael respected the aes Sídhe, in a similiar track the Aiel served the Aes Sedai long ago. Warrior bands and clans were very important in polythestic and into Christian times, just as they are important to the Aiel, and cattle raids were a chance to test battle skills and gain or lose honour besides gain more resources, as they seemed to be for the Aiel pre-Rand. Some other similiarities include the importance and elaborateness of honour, at least among the warrior roles, in both Gael and Aiel, and, more distantly, the importance of spears (in the Cycles, many of the most famous weapons are spears).

esentialy repeatd waht I said earlier on ths thread. Not suer what abuot the seanchan yu are likenin to geasa - i.e. certin actions taht yuo cannot do unles it damaeg your honour - thuogh; havnet read th books in whille but al I remembre is thm havin superstitionns abuot certin omens and clases havin to observe certain things, which is not geasa, interall or extrenal.

 

And anothre thing, honuor in my religin is (ideally) moer importnt than anything else, as its a way for the gods and othres to measure your worth, so I wuold hardly call that ridiculus. 

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