Mirialan Spirituality and Language

Spirituality

The “Essential Doctrine”, as it is known, is simply “Body - Tribe - People”. It is a simple saying that represents the propagation of individual actions to the entire species through The Unity that connects them.

Mirialans maintain the Essential Doctrine as part of their daily lives through the performance of “Essential Acts” which in turn reverberate to all others.

The Essential Acts:
Vigil: all Mirialans rise just before the sun in order to meditate and start each day vigilant. Since sunrise is always in motion, it means that as each individual greets the dawn in this way, the Mirialan people collectively maintain a continual vigil for their planet.
Honor: The Unity doesn’t just connect living Mirialans; it connects the living to those in the past as well. Every tribe maintains a shrine of their honored ancestors where each day (preferably sunset) they spend a moment of reflection.
Purity: The deeds of the individual are important to Mirialans. It is taught that there are certain deeds (such as theft, unkindness to the undeserving, or failure to show gratitude) that create a kind of ritual impurity of the individual. (The Jedi have a better description: these are acts that push an individual closer to the dark side.)
Ta Moku: The act of receiving ritual markings. These markings represent a culmination of individual achievement and status, tribal connection, and cultural history maintained in a highly visible way.

Sojourner Mirialans

Mirialans that do not live on Mirial are referred to as “Sojourners”; this includes all colonists and during the Republic, Mirialan Jedi. Because the Essential Doctrine is so important to their way of life, the Essential Acts have been adapted for Sojourners.

Vigil is performed at pre-dawn on whatever planet they reside, however when traveling in space, because a ship’s time clock is not a natural system, Vigil is timed based on the sunrise in the capital city on Mirial. Those who travel regularly carry small time pieces specialized for this purpose.

Without a central tribal shrine, wealthy Mirialans have “Honor Tiles”; small clay tiles baked from the ashes of the ancestors that are used to build a small shrine within a dwelling or community space. Poorer Mirialans lack the means to produce clay tiles and carry beads that have touched the ashes. These Honor-Beads are carried in a pocket.

Sojourners often travel home to perform Ta Moku and celebrate special achievements, however these rituals are also performed off planet within Mirialan community groups as well.

Mirialan Language and Signaling

Mirialan is a combination language comprised of spoken words and hand gestures which are most often used simultaneously, but occasionally separately. These gestures aren’t as robust as the Lorridian gestural language and can not be used to express complex ideas or technical/detailed information.

The gestures (or “Signal Language”) have their origin in the the idea that in order to truly communicate clearly, the speaker needed to indicate the intent behind each statement. Therefore, one who says “I love you” and means it, would also signal honesty and love. On the other hand, one who says “I hate you” to a friend to express frustration would signal love along with the untranslatable “I don’t really mean it”. (i.e. Signal Language = emoticons for spoken language.)

Though the majority of Mirialans speak fluent Basic, when on Mirial and in the presence of other Mirialans, it is generally not spoken. Off-worlders living on Mirial must learn the language well in order to communicate effectively. In mixed company where Mirialans are in the majority, attempts are made to include everyone, but there is a tendency to slide back into their own language. When speaking Basic, unless well practiced in not doing so, Mirialans often unconsciously add in Mirialan hand gestures to emphasize their words.

Ta Moku

Prior to the Empire, it was common for Mirialans to mark important life events (both good and bad) by adding to the marks already on their faces and bodies. These markings tell one’s story to other Mirialans and it is common for Ta Moku to begin at a very young age. Most Mirialan children have several tattoos by the time they are 3 or 4 years old.