The Azuposi were a race of humans living in the Pasocada Basin in Maztica. Their existence was built upon agriculture and cultivating the harsh land of the basin, but they revered sophisticated culture.
Azuposi society was matriarchal, meaning that the female was the owner of property, and it was passed down through the females in the family. Men worked the land but acted as caretakers rather than owners. Myths dictated that this system may have originated from a decree of one of the War Twins or may have come about because Sus'sistinako (the Spider Woman) was instrumental in the creation of the Azuposi.
The Azuposi lived in six separate tribal societies. Each tribe was named after one of six directions significant to the Azuposi due to the solstices. These directions were up, down, northwest, northeast, southwest and southeast. The respective tribes were eagle, shrew, mountain lion, badger, bear, and wolf.
There was no concept of the afterlife in Azuposi culture, and they did not believe that they would be reincarnated or continue to exist after death. This meant that they saw their deities as figures to be bargained with, rather than to impress or appease. They were not a materialistic people, since they believed that material wealth should be shared so that everyone could benefit in the current life, rather than hoarding things for individual benefit in the next life.
In daily life, the Azuposi regarded many personal ceremonies that they believed would bring them good will from the spirits they worshiped. In addition to this, there were major festivals at the winter and summer solstices, although the winter solstice (Soyal) was more important. The gods of the sun were worshiped, in an attempt to bring about longer days and warmer weather. During the festivals on the solstices, a pipe was lit at dawn and passed around the various community members, where secret rituals were performed in the kivas, or ceremonial rooms, consisting of exercises in concentration and meditation. When the pipe had finished being passed around, the entire community gathered together to place offerings of maize to the gods, to pray and sing, and to create a procession. Music and dance continued on into the night around large open fires. Ceremonial herbs used regularly included black cohosh, cedar, cornmeal, gourd, horsetail, mallow, mesquite, ragweed, sagebrush, and wild jalap.
Bread was the staple food in the Azuposi diet. It was made by hand from corn flour, and was usually made into piki bread, which was created by placing very thin sheets of corn dough on heated rocks, folding them over, and then cooking them further. The Azuposi enjoyed meat in the form of birds, bison, deer, gopher, mountain sheep, prairie dog, pronghorn antelope, rabbits, or turkey, (which were sometimes domesticated,) and fruits and vegetables such as beans, beeweed, calabashes, goosefoot, juniper, maize, melon, pigweed, pinyon pine, prickly pear and squashes. Turkey eggs were also harvested from the domesticated turkeys and eaten.
The farming conditions in the lands occupied by the Azuposi were tough, and Azuposi farmers often planted more than they needed, in the knowledge that some crops would simply not make it. They would also store certain foods, like maize, in the event of some years not producing any crops at all. Farmers used tools like shovels and hoes, made from bone, stone, or wood.
The Azuposi dressed in cloths and hides that had been dyed in bright colors and adorned with beads or intricate embroidery. Males wore only loincloths in warm weather but also blankets in the cold. Women wore cotton shirts and long loose skirts, covered in blankets, held into place at the waist with an embroidered belt. They usually embellished their hair and tied it in braids or buns. Shoes were worn by both genders, and these consisted of buffalo skin soles and deer skin.
Pottery was an important part of Azuposi society, and the products made useful everyday items. The pottery skill was held by the females and was passed from generation to generation. This led to slight variations in style emerging between households and larger regional variations. It was possible to tell where a pot was made by examining its style.
The Azuposi had settled in the Pasocada Basin. The City of Gold, Michaca, sat at the center of their civilization. Numerous other settlements surrounded it, such as Nozoma and Mitzlato, and their infrastructure branched out from this one central hub. Their roads were sturdy stone constructions, which was uncommon even on Faerûn. Signal towers were laid out along the roads, so that they were all connected by line of sight, and could be lit and used to transmit smoke messages quickly across the land.
For everyday buildings like homes, usually wood, earth, and mud would suffice. For more permanent or significant buildings, like ceremonial buildings, stone was used. Stone might also be used for simpler buildings in areas closer to a quarry, because the transportation of the materials was not too difficult. Thin slabs of stone were raised as walls, between which rubble was placed to bulk out the structure. Mortar might be used to seal the stone, and plaster made from crushed stone might be applied to the outside of buildings to form a whitewash. Logs were laid horizontally for upper floors and roofs, and on top of these, a lattice of branches was placed. The branches were set with stone to form a solid structure. The wood for this task was usually sourced from the Dunobo Springs.
Many Azuposi settlements were pueblos, which consisted of just one building split into many rooms for different families and expanded upon when more room was needed. Doorways between individual houses were trapdoors in the floor or ceiling, so as to make it possible to join these buildings into one, sharing walls and saving on building costs. This also had the benefit of being more easily defensible. The habitation rooms typically contained a cooking fire and were where food was prepared and eaten and also where the family sleeps. Occasionally, adult males would eat their food in the kiva instead. Kivas served as rooms of ceremony and ritual function and were normally round. They also acted as social centers for men while they wove or created weapons. There were usually a few kivas in each pueblo. Storage rooms were also frequently found in pueblos, where the Azuposi preserved dried corn, beans in ceramic pots, squashes sliced and dried, and meats that had been cured. Hunting and farming items might also be stored here.
Due to their illiteracy, the Azuposi had no written history. Their history was passed down the generations by word of mouth, and this led to some factual inaccuracies creeping in, where details had been changed to better favor the Azuposi or even to create better rhymes in poetry or song.
The Azuposi believed that the world's land was created by Sus'sistinako (the Spider Woman) and the Sun, two spirits who were somehow parents of one another, by pulling it from the ocean. Sus'sistinako then created Alosaka and Iyatiku by singing them into existence, and they in turn created living beings. Humans were brought into existence underground, but their lives were filled with chaos and corruption, and they were unhappy, so they sent the bird Motsni to find them a better place to live. Motsni flew out of the underground at Shipapu, an exit point, and found Masauwu (the Skeleton Man). Masauwu informed Motsni that life was hard on the surface but that a bearable humble existence was possible. The Azuposi decided that this would be a better life, and left the underground at Shipapu to begin their lives on the surface. Masauwu remained their patron deity.
Although not a certainty due to their lack of written history, it is likely that the Azuposi were ancestors of the inhabitants of Kara-Tur, because of the similarities in their appearance and their language, especially that of the Wu-haltai people.
War with the MetahelEdit
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ Thomas M. Costa (1999). “Speaking in Tongues”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon Annual #4 (TSR, Inc), p. 26.
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 16. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 12. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), pp. 7–8. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 978-1560763222.
- ↑ John Nephew and Jonathan Tweet (April 1992). City of Gold. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 978-1560763222.
Maztica: Azuposi • Dog People • Green Folk • Metahel • Nahopaca • Nexalan • Payit (Itza)
Taan: Commani, Dalat, Fankiang, Gur, Guychiang, Igidujin, Kashghun, Khassidi, Naican, Oigur, Pazruki, Quirish, T'aghur, Tsu-tsu, Tuigan, Zamogedi
Kara-Tur & Malatra: Bavanese & Bertanese • Bawani • Han • Issacortae • Koryoan • Kozakuran • Kuong • Nubari • Pazruki • Purang • Seng • Shou • Tabotan • Tayanulchi • Wanese • Wu-haltai