(100x100px world map)POULATION:Sharfland:
~1,300Eastern Commonwealth/North Point:
The Amayali people are native to northwest Sharfland, living in the shadows of the mountain range that shares their name. Fiercely independent and notoriously stubborn, the Amayali Khans were the historical rulers of a large state that extended past even the modern borders of the Sharfic Federation - as well as conquering the present-day Sovereign Sharfland, the Kingdom ruled over roughly half of modern Uiri.
Despite being deposed by a communist regime that attempted to eradicate their way of life, the Amayali never surrendered their ancient and complex society to Red Sharfland. They took their chances at ethnic independence during the Sharfic Civil War (1997-2010) and survived as an independent entity for 6 years, before being beaten into submission and rejoining the Federation as an autonomous entity.
Amayali restaurants, common in Questers, are encroaching on new markets in North Point and Praetonia as the cuisine accrues fame as a "trendy" meal out.SOCIETY AND CULTURE
Amayali culture is generally conservative, with people who prefer to remain on the side of established tradition rather than venture into new and unfamiliar situations. It is also, somewhat paradoxically, dominated by the principle of "Gurshi" roughly translated as "the way things are". Many Amayali, while holding conservative opinions against other races, genders, sexual identities, professions, disabled people or other groups, decline to openly air them. Many Amayali feel that the act of publicly insulting or demeaning another individual is of the lowest moral quality, and insults the honour of both the perpetrator and the victim. The only exception is made in the event that an individual's family, ancestors or community are insulted, and in such cases the victim would themselves be seen as without honour if they did not defend the reputation of their kinsmen.
The strong Amayali honour culture extends to its hospitality and treatment of guests. An outsider walking into any tiny Amayali village will be offered a warm bed and a hearty feast, no matter how deprived the community - as experienced by the author. A host will make themselves at the full disposal of the guest, and attempt to satisfy their every request in as comprehensive a manner as possible. The responsibility of the guest is to eagerly and unreservedly accept any offers made by the host - to do otherwise would be to suggest the host is somehow incapable of providing for their guest, and thus strip them of their honour.
Most Amayali live in small, isolated villages scattered throughout the mountains - their main economic activities are subsistence farming with yaks or goats. Farming is not conducted according to modern standards, and hand-held tools are common. These villages are often incredibly poor, with more isolated settlements still waiting for a full electrification. Livestock animals represent the entire capital reserve of many families. Urban Amayali (in the regional capital of Shiran, or the mountain city of Gyiran) are mainly small business owners - merchants, taxi drivers, tailors and chefs at independent eateries. A resurgence of tourism since the end of the war has brought renewed prosperity to the area, but many older Amayali are uncomfortable with the inevitable social change that such an economic shift will bring.
Amayali people have been observed by anthropologists as having a high time preference. In general, Amayali culture prioritises instant or short term-gratification. Farmers will be observed working up to the point where their family is fed, and they have enough of a projected surplus to pay for necessities like home repairs, clothing, and school fees. One farmer who owned several acres of underutilised land explained that while he knew he would receive a much higher annual return if he intensively cultivated his entire estate, he was worried that getting into a more businesslike enterprise (with the associated costs and concerns of hiring farmhands, and arranging a more formal supply chain to bring a larger quantity of goods to the market in Shiran) would detract from the time he could spend relaxing with his family and friends.
This is not just a symptom of the rural, isolated peasantry. The author located another Amayali who owned a business importing used cars into the city of Gyiran. He typically sold one or two cars per month, enough to cover his expenses and restock his inventory. Several months ago, a Wallasean aid agency contracted the businessman to supply their Gyiran field office with eight large 4x4s - roughly 50% of his given stock. Rather than reinvest that windfall into his business (by expanding his premises and inventory, for instance) the businessman was content to simply restock. The several thousand dollars' profit went instead into renovating his private residence.
Crataean anthropologists suggest that this behaviour can be traced back to the physical surroundings of the Amayali - the harsh conditions of mountain life included regular floods, rock and mud slides, earthquakes, blizzards, animal attacks and other natural disasters. Presumably the Amayali condition prioritises short-term gain because their shared cultural memory warns them that every penny saved today can be washed away tomorrow if one falls victim to bad luck.RELIGIONFAMILY VALUESRELATIONSHIPSMORE