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The Amunati are the people of the lower Tamarat River in northern Idiri, descendants of one of the greatest kingdoms of the ancient world which is now just another province of the Sirdabi Caliphate. They are a very proud people with a strong sense of identity, and many among them consider themselves culturally superior to their Sirdabi rulers, as they have considered themselves superior to a string of other rulers before them. Despite this they are largely uninterested in the idea of independence from the caliphate, preferring rather to steer it from within by attaining positions of influence and power, and believing in any case that the strength of their culture transcends such petty things as the politics of the current government. They have a reputation for cunning and arrogance, as well as a certain dark mystery -- but the Amunati themselves would claim this is largely the product of jealousy at their success. Most ordinary Amunati are now peaceful but hard-working people with a love for natural beauty and the visual arts, and many have a mystical bent that influences their worship. Their province of Amunat produces talented astrologers as well as engineers and builders.


Amunati usually have copper to dark brown complexions, and dark hair that runs the full range of textures from straight to kinked. Their eyes come in a range of browns, sometimes with a metallic tinge that can make them look copper or golden. Amunati differ somewhat in appearance between those native to the lower Tamarat in the north of Amunat, and those dwelling along the upper river in the south of that province. Those native to the lower Tamarat, known as "Red Crown" Amunati, tend to be taller, with more aquiline features and coppery skin tones. Those native to the upper Tamarat, called "Gold Crown" Amunati, have darker skin, rounder faces, and, often, the exceptionally nimble and graceful hands that are said to be the hallmark of the neighboring Milombo people. These two populations intermingle extensively, and each may be found in any part of the caliphate.


Typical attire among Amunati follows the dominant style of the Sirdabi Caliphate: the long dress or shirt called the thawb, worn over loose ankle-cuffed sirwaal pants. A tunic-like kaftan may serve as a day-to-day outer garment, while an abaya or bisht can be added for additional warmth in cold weather. In upper Amunat, more traditional garb is sometimes worn, consisting of simple cotton or linen A-line gowns, slightly longer for women than men. Cotton, muslin, and linen are the favored fabrics, and many prefer Amunati-woven garments of such high quality cloth even to silks and brocades. They are also fond of gauzy material, which the women prefer to use for their veils, sometimes in great abundance. Amunati tend to like garments in light neutral shades such as cream and beige, with color added by large blocks of geometric embroidery.

Amunati hairstyles are usually simple for everyday occasions, and may even be worn loose in an informal style. Braids are common for women, and short hair or ponytails for men. A tradition does persist among some Amunati of both sexes to keep their hair close-cropped and to wear a styled wig when going out. Some of these wigs may feature extremely elaborate loops and braids or ornaments, and they may be worn for all manner of social occasions and festivals. Generally, however, wearing such wigs is frowned upon by more conservative elements of society who consider it an ostentatious display of frivolity and vanity.


The chief language of the Amunati is Sirdabi, which is spoken and written throughout Amunat and beyond. Among Kalentic Amunati, many also have at least a basic grasp of Elukoi. The original Amunati language is no longer used as such, though it still plays a limited ceremonial role among the traditional pagan priesthood, and its archaic heiroglyphics are ubiquitous in the monuments, paintings, and writings of ancient Amunat. The Amunati language has also played an outsized role in the development of the magic syllables which are essential to many spells and charms.


The Amunati are chiefly agriculturalists whose daily and yearly routines follow the rhythms of their beloved River Tamarat. They value their communal life in the many smaller towns and villages strung out along the river, and even those who live in the striking metropolis of Kneph-Nebhet view country life with a fond and sentimental eye. Amunati also love being out on the Tamarat itself, and boating trips up and down the river are a popular leisure activity even among the poor. Outside their home province Amunati tend to be found living in close-knit family enclaves within the larger cities of the caliphate, where they may pursue a great variety of careers and crafts.

Most Amunati like for things to be tidy and orderly, and to feel that everything is properly in its place. This applies to anything from one's house and fields all the way up to humankind's place in the cosmos. Ritual holds great importance in Amunat, not only in religion but in the practices of daily life. It is perhaps this mindset that made Kalentoi culture appealing to the people of Amunat, and why the Kalentic faith easily took root in their homeland under the rulership of the Empire. But Amunati also are deeply devoted to the idea of tradition, and even in the face of numerous changes of governance and religion, many ancient practices and beliefs are still cherished. Their love for tradition can make them very resistant to any kind of change in either their culture or their personal routines, and they are capable of digging themselves very deeply into a rut (comfortable or otherwise).

Besides order, beauty is also highly valued in Amunati culture, and ideally things should be -- like the River Tamarat with its faithful routine -- both orderly and beautiful at once. For this reason formality and style are preferred over crass realism, in everything from painting to landscaping. Some outsiders find Amunati art and gardens to be artificial and stiff, but the best of their design manages to incorporate studied elegance with an exuberant embrace of all aspects of life and nature.

Their love of beautiful things and leisure activities sometimes gives outsiders the idea that Amunati are lazy, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are as a whole hard and diligent workers, and are willing to expend a great deal of energy in pursuing their various projects. They appreciate pursuits that combine labor with creativity, such as gardening and construction, or even planning for social occasions. Amunati take even leisure seriously, and will invest significant effort into every last practical and aesthetic detail of a parade and festival, before finally settling in to enjoy themselves in a burst of wild abandon.

Women are well respected in Amunati culture, and there were even once numerous queens in the days of ancient Amunat. Ordinarily, women are expected to engage in professions and pursuits traditionally considered feminine. Creating things of beauty is one such feminine pastime, so it is not uncommon to find women working as potters, jewelcrafters, weavers, garden designers, and even drafters of architectural plans. The more physical aspects of any such labor, however, are supposed to be left up to men -- or to women of lower status who cannot afford to adhere to such ideals.

Traditionally, women in Amunati society also played a strong role in religious practice. Ancient Amunat always had High Priestesses to lead in the worship of various of the old gods and goddesses, and there were once religious societies made up entirely of women. Women were also sought as soothsayers, ritualists, and creators of powerful talismans and charms. With the replacement of the old ways by the new Azadi faith, women have lost much of their prominence in matters of worship. But among those segments of Amunati society who follow Idiri deities such as Nirzali, priestesses are still both common and respected.


The Amunati as a whole are a deeply spiritual people for whom faith is an important part of their daily lives. Regardless of which religion they follow, Amunati are likely to embrace it wholeheartedly. They tend to place a high emphasis on ceremony and ritual, but believe in creating opportunities to celebrate their faith in joy as well as reverence. This can sometimes set them at odds with more conservative interpretations of their religion, but few doubt the Amunati's sincerity.

As part of the Sirdabi Caliphate, Amunat's official religion is Azadi, and the majority of Amunati within their home province and without now embrace that faith. Amunati are fond of going on pilgrimage, especially to neighboring Raziya and the city of Omrazir, where many have stayed to live and work in the Temple District. They have great reverence for the Prophet's first wife Adwa, and some even honor her as the companion prophet to al-Azad. While this is irregular and not entirely approved by orthodoxy, it is not considered incorrect either, as tradition does hold that Adwa received some small revelations from the One God as well. Due to time-honored cultural practices, women of Amunati communities tend to play a more public role in religion than is typical among most other Azadi. Both women and men worship freely together in the same spaces, and some communities even boast female imams, which tend to be rare among other heritages.

Although lesser in numbers, Kalentism also still flourishes among the Amunati. They were quick to embrace this religion even in its earlier days, seeing in Kalen the embodiment of the holy benu, the mystical bird which in turn had been considered the earthly manifestation of the sun god. The tradition of Kalen as Kalen Phoenikos began in Amunat, and swiftly spread throughout Kalendom. The Amunati church based in Kneph-Nebhet has long been considered schismatic by the Kalentic establishment out of Calentium, but its regional influence is strong despite the dominance of Azadi under the Sirdabi Caliphate.

Before the coming of either Kalentism or Azadi, the Amunati followed their own ancient pantheon. Most of these deities were the same as those known as the Children of Dawn and Dusk, and the Children of Noon and Night. In Amunati representation, however, these gods and goddesses typically bore the heads or other features of their totem animal. The goddess Kholabi was once especially revered, being the patron of refined civilization, ritual, and magic. Some staunch traditionalists among the Amunati still adhere to their ancient religion, though this is mostly confined to the lands of the upper Tamarat in the south of Amunat province. Nirzali, whose worship is widespread throughout Idiri, is also honored by many Amunati.


Like the Irzali in the eastern caliphate, the Amunati once boasted a proud empire that incorporated vast sweeps of territory. At its greatest extent, the Kingdom of Amunat included much of northeastern Idiri from the present-day province of Ifru and all the way through Raziya, and extended even down into the lands south of the Great Hazari Desert which itself was a somewhat less harsh environment in ancient times. The Amunati had a fruitful rivalry with the Milombo peoples who resided in the upper reaches of the Tamarat river basin, and the cultures of the two intermingled and traded as often as they clashed and conquered one another's borderlands. Their empire began its decline at the same time that the fortunes of the neighboring Rassi were ascending, and the Amunati eventually lost the lands of Raziya to the rulership of its native people, today known as the Razmani. Amunati and Razmani still tend to consider themselves rivals and to view one another with distrust. Later, the weakened Kingdom of Amunat was conquered by the Ruveran Empire, and after that empire's collapse Aumnat continued to be ruled by its successor state, the Kalentoi Empire. Despite their subordinate status for the last several hundred years, the culture of the Amunati people has proven distinctly influential and enduring, such that in all the lands around the Adelantean everything from religion and magic to engineering and art often owes a little to them.

See also