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Explanation of Some Aspects of Cicutan Culture
Depicted on the Tekalkoin Mural

The pink disks hanging down from the top are KahtoAnos, similar to our yo-yos, used in religious ceremonies. They symbolize the idea that, like the Trees, what goes down must come up.

Mural on ArtSpace facade

The pink creature with wings illustrates the Cicutan belief that when they die, they regain the wings of their ancestors and fly towards their sun, beyond Akar & Galana.


The red creature below is one of their favorite spirits, KseKhor,  the Untangler--very important in a culture where everyone weaves.
   By extension, Ksekhor is believed to help untangle personal conflicts.


At bottom right is shown the Cicutan GreenFireDance. This is performed at the beginning of RisingSeason and is supposed to encourage the growth of the Trees.


The purple creature with horns above the door is a guardian spirit protecting the Tekalkoin.
The flames around the door represent the intensity of creation.
Above the door is a symbolic Nurturing Tree


On the left-hand side we see a depiction of the Thetoriad, the saga of the Cicutans' great hero, Thetor. It begins at the bottom with the ancient Cicutans, grey on the dark forest floor, menaced by the EdgePeople who had driven.them there, away from the pleasant beaches. One night, the TreeSpirit appeared to the huddled Cicutans, saying that they could be saved by climbing the Tree. Only one, Thetor, had the courage to try.
    He (we will use "he" though the Cicutan language doesn't distinguish between sexes) began to climb. Some people laughed and said he was crazy; others warned of the dangers he would encounter— alone.
    On his way upward, he confronted the Seven Obstacles:
1. The Many-Legged Beast: fear of beginnings.
2. The Deep Fog: confusion.
3. The Blue Ghosts: fear of the unknown.
4. The Grasping Mold: lethargy. Here he was encouraged by the MoonMoths to free himself.
5. The Worm of Temptation: selfishness.
6. His Mirror Self: self doubt
7. The Flower Ceiling: fear of success and of the changes that follow.
   He managed to overcome each one and finally reached the top. He sat on the flower head for 60 days, meditating on the beauty around him while weaving a rope from tree fibers. With this rope he let himself down. He was greeted by the others with amazement at his "resurrection." From that time on, the Cicutans learned to live on the tree tops.


Below is an attempt by an exPlan to translate the Thetoriad into Earthan.
    This is really impossible as there is much more to the poem than just words. There are "meaningless" sound patterns between the words creating complex rhythms appropriate to the meaning. Also there is an accompaniment of smells which heighten the emotions of fear, despair, exhaustion, elation, satisfaction, etc.  So use your imagination.

   Picture Cicutans, young kryses and their elders, huddled around a fire on the dark forest floor in FallTime. They cease their usual chatter waiting expectantly for the Ahfeeg to begin his performance...

The Thetoriad

All dark, all grey, all damp, all smelly
Once--bright sun, dry earth, clear water
All, asleep, curled against damp, close to Tree
Suddenly, awake, look, Tree glows,
Hear--Climb, save yourselves, upward--
Mutter--Too far, too high, too big, too small--
Hear again--Climb, must climb, destiny--
All shiver, glow fades, darkness

The Vision

Faint light filters, rain drips
All awake, chatter, wonder, ask, but
Thetor whispers--Someone must--
Others question, titter, beg, portend,. but
Thetor resigned--I must, climb--
Inside ache, grabs vine, pulls up
Soon, others lost in rain mist

The Start

First leaf, tired, rest, sit
Flash, beast, many-legged--Back, back--
--No start, no fail, safe, safe--
--Down, down, others forget, safe, safe--
Thetor determined--Up, up, must try, must know--
Beast, many-legged, poof

The Many-Legged Beast
[fear of beginnings]
Again, hand hold, hole
Rain drip-drop, eyes, feel, grasp
Second leaf, breathes, closes eyes
Opens eyes, all mist, all cloud, all blank, all swirl
Questions, confusion, up, down, around
Yes, no, maybe, why, when, who
Thetor deep breath--Remember, must do--
--No think, no feel, do--
Opens eyes, clouds below, sky pieces above

The Deep Fog
[confusion]

Reach, skyward, hand, hand, foot, again, again
Third leaf, tired, sleep, quiet
Feels cool touch, shivers, opens, eerie light
Blue ghosts float--Whooo knows, what awaits--
--For youuuu, slip-slide, into blue-ooo--
Thetor shaking--Awake, awake, here, now, leaf, Tree--
See, see, shaft of morning sun

The Blue Ghosts
[fear of the unknown]

Up, toward light, climb, climb
Fourth leaf, sit, all ache, sit, rest
No move, no spark, time, time, fade
Looks down, green-blue mold grows
Grows on feet, grows on belly, grows ever up
Look up, first Moon Moth, glowing, beauty, flutters higher
Thetor hopeful--Find more, wonders, higher--
Pull from mold, brush away, seek next hold

The Grasping Mold
[lethargy]
Fifth leaf, sees further, away, down, way down
Sees up, leaves, flowers, glimpse of storied Akar
Sees tree trunk, worm wrapped, eye stares
Worm coos--High climb, soon goal, gold--
--You high, others low, forget, enjoy, exault--
Thetor dreams--Hard work, big risk, deserve, important--
Thetor remembers--Gloom, cold, hungry, people--
Thetor screams--No, no, go, go--
Last seen, worm tail, disappears into hole

The Worm of Temptation
[selfishness]

Sixth stop, first branch
Opposite branch, reflection, another self
Thetor mirrored--Almost there, so proud, you, who?
--The runt, the useless, the fool, the stupid--
--What to do, at top, alone, the unknown--
--Float back, go down, slip in, forget--
Thetor to mirrored--At top, alone, unknown--
--Who knows, find out, come here, together, one--
Up, through branches, flower ceiling above

The Mirror Self
[self doubt]

Seventh stop, a little rest, catch breath
Now what, when done, then what
Visible, vunerable, danger, unknown, questions
Change, direction, good, bad, mediocre, questions
Thetor done--it Is what is, will see--

The Flower Ceiling
[fear of success]

Last push, through flowers, full view
Breeze, sweet air, red Akar, Galana shining,
Billow clouds, tree tops, mydys shimmer between
Stays, rests, eats, drinks, breathes, gazes
Tree gives fiber, hands weave, weave rope
Full sixty rotations, time, return time

On Top

Down, down, down, down the rope
Past flower ceiling
Past mirror self
Past temptor worm
Past grasping mold
Past blue ghosts
Past fog-cloud
Past many-legged beast
To the forest floor

Others amazed, ...mourned Thetor dead
Whispered fool, shivered cold
Now hope story, possibility
New world, all change

 

[the young kryses
join in the chorus]

 

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