*laughs* Can't say as I've ever seen LOST, but I'm pretty sure that this was around before it ever came out...*digs out the book and looks at the publishing date* Yeah, 1980, lol
Totems : They carry an amulet bag, basically a simple bag made of hide with holes cut in it and a thong threaded through that you pull tight and wear around your neck. You put various things in your amulet bag, you get a red orche stone when you're named and accepted into the clan as a baby, you get one when you become a hunter or some other postion of status. Occasionally your totem will send you a sign, an unusual rock or something along those lines, to let you know that the decision you made was the correct one...your totem tests you from time to time, the trials in your life and such, and if you suceed, your totem will reward you with a sign...
They have no influence on status...in the book, Mog-ur, the great spirit/ceremony man, his totem was a roe deer, so...totems are just spiritual protectors, fighting for us where we can't go, in the spirit world...
Ancestor Memories : These are a little...weird, and I'm not sure exactly how to explain them....basically, WE are the Others, sort of...it's an early version of us...the Clan is the previous evolutionary step, before us...their brains function differently than ours do. Basically, all of their knowledge has already been learned, they're just going off of what the people before them learned, they just have to be reminded of it as children and they will remember. So, they don't so much as learn how to do things as they "remember" them, even though they've never done them before, they have the knowledge stored in their brain already, it just needs to be triggered....They don't have the compacity to learn new things, they're brains have already been filled up, there's no room for anything else in there, which is why they're a failed race, doomed ultimately for death...
Like I said, they're kinda weird, and I don't really know how to explain them...but I'm tryin', lol
The Others : touched on a bit in the last bit...
In the books, there's like 5 or 6...the only one thats actually about the clan is the first one...at the end of that, she goes off by herself, leaving her son behind and makes her journey to find her own people, The Others, as the clan calls them...The Others call the clans Flatheads, so....they share the planet, but they don't have anything to do with each other. The Clan fears the Others, and the Others think that they're above the Clan and don't even really consider them people, they see them more as animals...They don't know a whole lot about each other, and of course, ignorance spreads superstition...so, they avoid each other whenever possible..
Some ceremonies, women can attend, such as the mating ceremony, and the "becoming a man" ceremony, and the baby naming ceremonies...These are pretty simple ceremonies that don't really have a lot to do with the spirits. They're more for clan status and structure than the spiritual life.
The other ceremonies, the protection ceremonies and guidance and such, are forbidden to women. Women are stronger in the spiritual world, because they have the ability to bring forth life, that gives them power. Thats why, in this world, men are the dominent force, for balance or something like that...They must be controlled and kept under strict watch and rules, so they never discover this power that they have, for it would be the ruin of the clan. Also, the men plead with the spirits during ceremonies, begging them for help and protection. If a woman were to see the men in this weakended state, it would disrupt everything.
The ceremonies themselves are pretty simplistic, put this paste here, bang this stick against a drum, do some dancing, and so forth...different rituals for different things, I'm not gonna go into detail about them all, unless you really want me to, hehe..
Yes, the Clan communicates almost entirely through sign language, but it's a very rich, complicated language, and they're very good at reading expressions and body movements as well. They do have some words, such as names (Brun, Uba, Iza, simple things like that) and other words important enough to have a sound. They don't have the vocal compacity that we do, they're just not formed for it, they can't sing or hum or laugh, they don't understand these things...they don't smile, either, for some reason...they express happiness or gratitude, but they have no words for Thank You, or Goodbye...They can't lie, they're body gives it away, and they don't know what the concept of a lie is anyways....some of the women withhold information, such as the Medicine Woman has a secret herb that prevents women from getting pregnant that they don't tell the men about because it would be forbidden.
Hehe, go ahead, ask me something else