Storytime With Julea: Nou-sen Sha Ka Tabri – “The Challenge of Sun and Moon”

There’s a reason the finest female fighters of the Sword Dancer groups will always play the part of Shaer.  Traditionally the first move of anyone playing her will be to break out of the circle, which she does nicely here, along with a lovely throw.  It’s considered a bad omen for the coming year if she is not successful getting past this part, especially for young couples.  In fact, most will delay their marriage for a year.

Incidentally, most marriages use a ritual that mimics this scenario but in a very toned down way.  The Shadows (usually brothers, sisters, cousins, or whatever) present a challenge basically asking why she is worthy of approaching Nouen.  Here she beats the crap out of them, but in the ceremony she professes her wealth, affection, or whatever it is that makes her worthy of this bonding… or beats the crap out of them if she finds them sufficiently insulting.  They will each give her a token, a gift of value or great meaning, as she passes the challenges.  It’s not one-sided, though.  She then gets to challenge the groom to see if he’s worthy.  You might guess the bride would have quite the head of steam by the time she got to him.  Yeah…   Then a male and female priest dressed in red and blue, representing Sha and Nou will conduct the ritual of bonding.  Such bliss.


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