Life and Society:

Throughout Jaya, custom and religious ritual are still widely observed and practiced. Religious and social custom follows the samskara, a series of personal sacraments and rites conducted at various stages throughout life.

Families are patrilineal, and people pray for the abundance of sons.

For almost all Jaya the family is the most important social unit. There is a strong preference for extended families, consisting of two or more married couples (often of more than a single generation), who share a common kitchen and garden. Marriage is virtually universal, divorce rare, and virtually every marriage produces children. Almost all marriages are arranged by family elders on the basis of caste, degree of consanguinity, economic status, education (if any), and astrology. A bride traditionally moves to her husband's house.
Within families, there is a clear order of social precedence and influence based on gender, age, and, in the case of a woman, the number of her male children. The senior male of the household—whether father, grandfather, or uncle—typically is the recognized family head, and his wife is the person who regulates the tasks assigned to female family members. Males enjoy higher status than females; boys are often pampered while girls are relatively neglected. The family of the wife pays a dowry at the time of marriage.
Woman were expected to treat their husbands as if they were gods, and obedience of wives to husbands is a custom as strong as law. This expectation of devotion may follow a husband to the grave; within some caste groups, widows are not allowed to remarry even if they are bereaved at a young age, and in others, the widow is expected to join her husband in death.
Jaya marriage has traditionally been viewed as the “gift of a maiden” (kanyadan) from the bride's father to the household of the groom. This gift is also accompanied by a dowry, which generally consists of items suitable to start a young couple in married life. In some cases, however, dowries demanded by grooms and their families have become quite extravagant, and some families appear to regard them as means of enrichment. There are instances, a few of which have been highly publicized, wherein young brides have been treated abusively—even tortured and murdered—in an effort to extract more wealth from the bride's father. Still a woman who marries and goes to another village never ceases to be regarded as a daughter of her village. If she is badly treated in her husband's village, it may become a matter of collective concern for her natal village, not merely for those of her own caste.

Men frequently wear little more than a broadcloth dhoti, worn as a loose skirtlike loincloth, or, in parts of the south and east, the tighter wraparound lungi. In both cases the body remains bare above the waist, except in cooler weather, when a shawl also may be worn, or in hot weather, when the head may be protected by a turban. Although throughout most of Jaya women wear saris and short blouses, the way in which a sari is wrapped varies greatly from one region to another. In Akshamala, as well as among older female students and many city dwellers, the characteristic dress is the shalwar-kamiz, a combination of pajama-like trousers and a long-tailed shirt (saris being reserved for special occasions). Billowing ankle-length skirts and blouses are the typical female dress of Kalindi and parts of Jaganmata. Most Jaya, especially females, do not wear shoes and, when footwear is necessary, prefer sandals.


The most generally accepted list of 16 traditional samskaras begins with the prenatal ceremonies of garbhadhana (for conception); pumsavana (to favour a male birth); and simantonnayana (“hair-parting,” to ensure safe delivery). The rites of childhood begin before the severing of the cord, with the ceremony of jatakarman (birth); followed at a later date by namakarana (name-giving); niskramana (the child's first view of the Sun); annaprasana (first feeding of solid food); cudakarana (first tonsure of the boy's head); and karnavedha (boring of the ears for the wearing of ornaments). The educational samskaras can commence as early as the fifth year with the vidyarambha (the learning of the alphabet). The upanayana (q.v.; initiation) confers the sacred thread on male children of the three upper social classes; the vedarambha signals the beginning of the student's study of the sacred scriptures; the kesanta, or godana (first shaving of the beard), marks the approach of manhood; and the samavartana (returning home from the house of the guru) or snana (“bathing”), the completion of his student life. The sacrament of marriage, the next stage in a man's life, is known as vivaha. The final samskara to be performed for a man is the antyesti (q.v.), the funeral rite.


The rashtra (polity) was governed by a rajan (chieftain, 'king'). The king is often referred to as gopa (protector) and occasionally as samrat (supreme ruler). He governed the people with their consent and approval. He was elected from a restricted class of 'royals' (rajanya).





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Population: 7,046
Power Center: Conventional
Alignment: Lawful Good
Gold Piece Limit: 15,000; Ready Cash: 5,280,000
Humans: 5,566; Halflings: 634; Elves: 352; Dwarves: 211; Gnomes: 140; Half-Elves: 70; Half-Orcs: 70; Others: 3


Population: 8,780
Power Center: Conventional
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Gold Piece Limit: 15,000; Ready Cash: 6,585,000
Humans: 6,936; Halflings: 790; Elves: 439; Dwarves: 263; Gnomes: 175; Half-Elves: 87; Half-Orcs: 87; Others: 3


Population: 7,209
Power Center: Conventional
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Gold Piece Limit: 15,000; Ready Cash: 5,400,000
Humans: 5,695; Halflings: 648; Elves: 360; Dwarves: 216; Gnomes: 144; Half-Elves: 72; Half-Orcs: 72; Others: 2


Population: 6,210
Power Center: Conventional
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Gold Piece Limit: 15,000; Ready Cash: 4,657,500
Humans: 4,905; Halflings: 558; Elves: 310; Dwarves: 186; Gnomes: 124; Half-Elves: 62; Half-Orcs: 62; Others: 3


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