River folk

From: Martin Crim (MCrim@erols.com)
Date: Tue 06 Feb 1996 - 05:15:03 EET


In V.2 # 363, David Swanson Millians asks, in response to my article on the
River People:

>> THE MRU (RIVER PEOPLE, "NATIVE FISHERFOLK")
>Where did you get the ethnonym "Mru"?

I stole it from a National Geographic map of the ethnic groups in India.
That's where I stole "Hasalaru" from, too.

>> They claim kinship with the Waertagi.
>Is this from a published source?

Yes, but I don't recall where. Or maybe it was a personal communication
from Greg. Or maybe I'm lying to you. ;-) Does it really matter?
(Seriously, I think I made it up. But claiming kinship with a distant,
nearly extinct group with some similarities is hardly a big enough deal to
make a fuss over, is it? It's a bit of chrome.

>> They
>> sneer at the proud warriors of the nomad tribes, who fear to get their feet
>> wet.

>My riverfolk aren't so much the sneering type. They, in >fact, consider
most of the people beyond their river to be >"dead," essentially ghosts left
over from Bad Old Days, to >be avoided.

I think they've been visited by Daka Fal and know the difference between the
dead and the living now. It's a good metaphor, but it's hard to square with
the known interactions with others at Corflu and Pavis. "Inconvenience" of
interaction is not the sort of description we'd expect if Mru saw outsiders
as dead. The ZF cult uses the words "antipathy" and "hate" for Waha and, by

extension, his minions. Sneering is about all the Mru can do to express
these feelings.

>>They allow irrigation and bog drainage because these
>> things please their god.

>But the bogs are our great haven! A sanctuary, partially >of water and
>partially of land. To bind and control Zola Fel is to >weaken him and his
followers.

"Mysterious are the ways of the God," says the fish-priest. "Maybe it's
meant to cut down on the number of broos," says your wise older brother.
"There'll always be enough bogs," says your Grandpa.
"Not everything can be gutted and dried," says your Grandma.

[after a section on the Mru language]
>How is this?

How is what? If it's how the Mru language is related to Waertagi, if I ever
had a clue I've forgotten it. Sorry!

- --Martin
"Now if you'll excuse me, I have to appear on a tortilla in Mexico."

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