|Republic of the Four Corners of Ngeyvger
and largest city
|-||President of Ngeyvger||Ķielsigih Vieʔaap|
|Legislature||National Council of Ngeyvger|
34,759 sq mi
|Time zone||NST (SCT-1)|
|Drives on the||right|
Ngeyvger (IPA: /ŋeivgɚ/, Native language: Ŋeivʔgər, IPA: /ŋeivgɚ/) or Neyvgar (IPA: /neɪvgɑɹ/, officially the Republic of the Four Corners of Ngeyvger, is a country located in northwest Miraria, characterized by its cold climate and the population's adherence to traditional nomadic hunting, fishing, and herding lifestyles.
Ŋeivʔgər is derived from the demonym Ŋeivʔ, itself meaning "along the sea." This was not originally the demonym of all peoples who currently make up the Ngeyv ethnicity; however, over a long period of cultural contact the Ngeyv peoples developed a common culture, which took its name from the group of Ngeyvs who lived nearest the coast and practiced fishing, sealing, and whaling. The suffix gər is in general used to refer to the land of a particular ethnic group (compare English "-land").
Ngeyvger lies along the North Sea, and on its eastern border lies the Kayyaa River. The Yaanrei, a major tributary of the Kayyaa, flows through Ngeyvger, and its drainage basin is entirely contained within Ngeyvger.
Ngeyvger has two climate zones. The south is subarctic (Koppen classification Dfc), and the north is Arctic tundra (Koppen classification ET).
Through most of Ngeyv history, the short-faced bear was both revered and feared due to its predation on humans and reindeer. Bear worship in general was common through much of Ngeyv prehistory and early history, although it ceased to be practiced by the mid-1800s. Traces of short-faced bear worship are seen in many aspects of modern Ngeyv culture, including in the midwinter tradition ķaagŋedʉər (lit. bear-masking) in which merry-makers don short-faced bear disguises and roam from house to house to beg for smoked fish. Receiving a disguised visitor into one's home is considered a way to ensure good luck in the new year.
In the 19th century, reindeer herding began to expand in the southeast, with some wealthy reindeer herders realizing they could use their herds not just to survive but to turn a profit. Meat, milk, cheese became a commodity to trade with other nations, as did the pelts of wild animals, including the short-faced bear. The practice of augmenting herding income by hunting bears was the first step in the decline of the short-faced bear population. As the maximum herd size increased from a few hundred to thousands with the industrialization of herding in the early 20th century, herders became much more aggressive about culling predators, especially the large, voracious, and dangerous short-faced bears.
The short-faced bear reached its lowest numbers during the late 1970s, with a record low of 287 individuals observed in the wild in 1979. Environmental activist Hiehtsaŋih Yaavkreis had begun to campaign to change the public image of these animals, from dangerous vermin to a treasured part of Ngeyv cultural heritage. His organization, the Ngeyv Wildlife Preservation Society, used a combination of traditional folklore aimed at older adults and cute animated cartoon PSAs aimed at the young to portray the bears in a positive light. They also successfully petitioned the government to place the species under protection in 1980. This caused some tension among reindeer herders in the southeast, who felt that the new policies were threatening their ability to defend their herds. Today, a better understanding of short-faced bear habitats and behavior has made it easier for herders to limit contact between their herds and short-faced bears. Combined with the availability of non-lethal weapons such as bear spray and tranquilizer darts, this has dramatically reduced the number of short-faced bears shot by herders. Current populations fluctuate around 1,200. Zoologists both within and outside Ngeyvger have been carefully monitoring the genetic health of the population since the 1970s, and captive breeding programs have been developed in some zoos.
Ngeyvger is a presidential republic. The president is elected every 6 years.
Each community votes as a whole, getting a number of votes equal to the size of the community. For small communities such as reindeer herding camps, the votes, as well as the number of votes, are hand-counted by the community elders, and voting may be done in public at a village meeting. These meetings traditionally have a great deal of argument and discussion. Although ideally everyone's voice should count, community elders have a higher sway, and in some communities they may effectively control the discussion and thus the vote. This makes small communities of economic importance especially susceptible to corruption.
In larger communities such as cities, government workers take votes and a census simultaneously, by contacting each member of the community. This also serves as a method of tax assessment, since workers typically see citizens' homes and informally estimate the value of the person's home and valuables. Individuals may abstain from a vote, but Ngeyv citizens may not legally abstain from the census. Punishment for abstention includes being forced to work as an unpaid census taker or tax collector.
Ngeyvger has a strong and long-lasting alliance with Achiyitqana.
The largest division of the Ngeyv military is the Coast Guard. Although nominally a branch of the military, its primary roles are search and rescue and safety of vessels, including protecting both Ngeyv and foreign whaling ships from anti-whaling activists. Customs and border enforcement and enforcement of maritime law are secondary concerns.
The economy of Ngeyvger is defined in large part by its geography, which is split along two different axes: coastal vs. inland, and the boreal south vs the arctic north. The coastal south has the densest population, with an economy largely based on fishing. Marine mammal hunting is common in the coastal north; however, both fishing and marine mammal hunting are practiced in both the north and south to some extent. The inland south, mostly taiga, relies greatly on hunting and trapping, as well as hydroelectricity. On the northern inland tundra, reindeer herding is the most common means of subsistence, although reindeer herders can be found to a lesser degree throughout every region. There are pockets of mining and other extraction industries throughout the inland territories; however, Ngeyv government regulations make it very difficult for foreign companies to make use of Ngeyv natural resources, and traditional Ngeyv cultural values conflict with large-scale for-profit extraction operations, so the extraction industry in Ngeyvger is relatively small.
Road infrastructure in Ngeyvger is minimal, due to the expense of keeping up roads in a polar climate and Ngeyv stigma against personal use of gasoline-consuming vehicles. Small settlements typically move with the herds, and thus have no fixed infrastructure of any kind, although there may be permanently staffed medical and government facilities within a certain distance. However, fixed settlements with a thousand or more people typically have decent road infrastructure. Transport between settlements is typically by regional aircraft, ferry, or reindeer caravan. Most fixed settlements and government facilities have an airport, although it may be minimal (e.g., one unpaved runway and a radar/ATC station). On the coast, almost all fixed settlements and government facilities have a port.
Energy in Ngeyvger is primarily wind and hydroelectric. Nomads typically burn wood, reindeer tallow, or whale oil for personal use.
Science and technology
There is a substantial electrical and computer engineering sector, much of which is contracted by the government for military, energy, space, and scientific applications. Most Ngeyv science, especially that which receives government contracts, is focused on ecology, animal husbandry, oceanography, meteorology, and geology.
Ngeyvger has two disparate healthcare systems—the modern, scientific, international healthcare system prominent in the fixed settlements, and the traditional, informal healthcare system typical of rural areas.
In Ngeyv folk medicine, the sieŋaan, a ritual specialist of the traditional Ngeyv religion, also serves as a healer, communing with the spirits to diagnose diseases or find lost items. For common and uncomplicated cases, such as colds and fevers, childbirth, setting broken bones, or extracting teeth, elderly Ngeyv women serve as folk healers and midwives, making use of herbalism and other traditional medical lore.
In fixed settlements, international-style primary and secondary care clinics provide science-based medicine. Tertiary care is available in Baalkeyng and Rehleysa, but due to limited availability, patients requiring tertiary care usually travel to Achiyitqana, Qgam, or occasionally Loheta.
Traditional Ngeyv religion is the most popular belief in Ngeyvger. Although there are many atheists and agnostics, most of them have been at some point initiated into Ngeyv religion and, aside from the most outspoken critics of religion, they mostly still observe Ngeyv practices. Ngeyv religion is initiatory and esoteric, with induction performed by shamans, called sieŋaan, as soon as a child is able to speak complete sentences or an adult foreigner sincerely wishes to join Ngeyv society. The sieŋaan leads lay practitioners to commune with the spirits, or in humanistic Ngeyv practice, the natural world, while the sieŋaan themself seeks to gain greater awareness of the spiritual (or natural) and free themself from the artificial boundaries created by human society and perception. The sieŋaan may take on ritual guises and emulate the behavior of various boreal and arctic animals to further this end. The great majority of practitioners of traditional Ngeyv religion are lay practitioners, and are held to the standards of wealth and behavior of Ngeyvtaiq. Sieŋaans, however, engage in transgressive behavior during rituals and in their religious practice.
Ngeyv culture and identity is heavily linked to the precepts of Ngeyvtaiq. First, one must be connected to some degree to one or more traditional Ngeyv lifestyles, called the Four Corners. The Four Corners consist of whaling and sealing, fishing, hunting and trapping, and reindeer herding. Second, one must be initiated into traditional Ngeyv religion. Third, one must practice traditional Ngeyv virtues of humility, self-reliance, respect for nature, and generosity, and obey Ngeyv jurisprudence. These, more than language, nationality, or creed, are what make someone Ngeyv.
There are multiple different styles of Ngeyv traditional and popular music. Of the traditional genres of music, the most popular is a throat-singing style, typically accompanied by drums, stringed instruments, and/or jaw harp, although it may also be unaccompanied. The lyrics usually relate to epic legends or religious lore. This style is most popular among rural settled communities, and originates in the traditions of the coastal Ngeyv ethnic groups, especially those of the southeastern coast. Most of this music was historically not recorded even after the advent of recording technology, but a resurgence of interest in traditional lifeways has caused a large number of bands, many composed of younger people, to emerge playing this style, recording albums and sometimes touring throughout Ngeyvger.
A second major style of traditional music, originated by the inland reindeer herders, is entirely a capella, or accompanied by a single drum. Lyrics are about the singer's personal or family history, and may be improvised. In traditional Suotkuok culture, it is considered declasse to directly inquire or speak of one's life history, and these songs were the socially accepted method of conveying this information. The typical setting for these songs was a mass singing, in which individuals would take turns reciting their personal story around a campfire at night. These were most common when introducing an outsider such as a new spouse, although they were also common in certain ritual occasions. This music is almost never recorded, except by ethnographers, and is rapidly dying out due to its social context and use being endangered, especially by the use of social media among younger Ngeyvs.
The dance called mieɂteh ŋaavuot, or the sun's return dance, is traditionally performed on the morning of the vernal equinox as a celebration of the return of the sun.
The cuisine of Ngeyvger has a heavy emphasis on meat and animal products, due to the (sub)arctic climate, lack of agriculture, and high price of imported plant-based foods.