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Northerners customarily divide occupations into two groups: ranger and domestic. Rangers work primarily outside the village, and often take long trips in small groups. Domestics work primarily in or very near the village, and rarely take long trips except when everyone travels to the summer gathers. There are some whose activities span the two, such as fishers and gatherers who may work at medium ranges from the village, or who go back and forth between ranger and domestic work. Some occupations have a strong seasonal component, so people may switch to a different aspect of the work, such as going from using specialized tools to making or repairing them during the off season. Alternatively, they may switch to a different specialty or to general work then.
Children are given toys, tasks, and training relating to all kinds of ranger and domestic work. Raisers and teachers watch to see who seems good at doing what. Children who show strong talent or interest in a particular area may take extra lessons to develop their skills further. Older children and young adults often choose a mentor in their favorite occupation. Some show a strong interest one way or the other, or even for a particular specialty, at a young age. Most take longer to decide. Typically half to two-thirds of an age-set will declare either ranger or domestic upon passing their adulthood tests, but it is rare for more than one or two to declare a specialty so soon.
Specialties usually have people spread over an age-range, from older children exploring an interest in it through young and mature adults currently practicing it, to elders who used to and could be consulted in a pinch. Villages try to avoid situations where only one person knows how to do something, because it's too easy to lose knowledge that way. But mishaps do happen -- for instance, when Itadesh's senior healer died of old age and the mature healer died shortly after in an accident, leaving Dlameda as the only person skilled in a crucial specialty that he didn't actually want to pursue. Likewise, many fiber-dyeing techniques were lost when Laisesu died in the Itadesh fire.
Follow the links below for more details about ranger, domestic, and elder specialties. (Forthcoming!)
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