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Mayaloi - Culture
Written By: Deirdre / Wyld_Dandelyon (Writer)
Mayaloi are somewhat rare, and live throughout the Empire. They have very dark skin, showy black hair and dark eyes, sometimes with iridescence. Enslaved by the Empire when they were first contacted, they have licensing advantages today.

The Mayaloi

Mayaloi Genetic Features: The Mayaloi are beautiful, with dark skin ranging from walnut through ebony to black with blue highlights. The usual hair color was “peacock-black” with blue iridescence, the iridescence ranging to green or violet. A minority of individuals have dull-black hair and/or dark brown eyes. From a distance the “peacock-dark” eyes look shiny black, but close-up, many Mayaloi eyes can look dark blue, dark green, or dark violet. The peacock-black hair ages to silver-grey, and retains iridescence. The hair and eye genes are mostly sub-dominant, trumping recessive genes but not dominant ones. Perfect pitch and exceptional eyesight were practically universal, and they could eat quite a lot without getting fat. However, descendants of the Mayaloi suffer if food is scarce, and 'normal' for the Empire is 'scarce' for them.

Mayaloi History: During the sundered times, food and shelter were easy, so the Mayaloi had plenty of time to concentrate on making themselves and their world beautiful. Cooking, brewing, singing, dancing, and theater were all respected, but the highest honors in their society went to people who made beautiful items. The population of the shard was higher than usual for hunter-gatherers, and the technology very basic except for artistic technologies. The Mayaloi were very aware that too many humans would unbalance their ecosystem, and contemporaneous texts mention that they had a strong tradition of using moonblossom for birth control.

The Mayaloi were brought into the Empire as a slave race, prized for their beauty and talents, but not always treated well. Pureblood Mayaloi slaves were a status symbol.

Despite their value, many Mayaloi died out during a subsequent famine, and they are quite rare, now, with no known Purists. They are considered a great prize for the musician and theater guilds, and they get a quick review and reduced licensing fees for having as many children as they want if they want them together. (This is not entirely a 'free pass,' as other genetic factors are considered, but basically, they are encouraged to breed.) People with at last half-Mayaloi heritage get some consideration in licensing for children, if they are having the child with a full-Mayaloi, though the licenses are scrutinized carefully if the characteristic “peacock” coloring is not expressed in hair and eyes. This is a matter of some bitterness for pure-bred Mayaloi who inherited the need for a high caloric intake, but not the flashy coloration.

The enslavement of the Mayaloi, and the mistreatment they suffered, including their subsequent die-off due to neglect during the famine are frequently used as an example of the evils of the Empire in counter-propaganda; the advantages they get in receiving child licenses and generous food licenses are used by the Empire in pro-Empire propaganda.

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