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Author Topic: Incense  (Read 5561 times)
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« on: 03 03, 2009, 08:48: PM »

I was wondering, as a very ritualistic society what would be the differing uses of incense in a Klingon's life. I burn rather allot of it in day to day life and was wondering out of interest what sort of smells and reasonings there would be.


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« Reply #1 on: 03 07, 2009, 08:59: AM »

    As a habitual user of incense, you would probably be the best person to answer your own question.   But you may be hung up on seing rituals as something more involved than the practitioners of the "ritual".  If you think you may have that sort of bias, I recommend studying Body Rituals of the Nacirema.   They are a backwards tribe of people who have many strange rituals.  But they don't see them as rituals...   They are just habits...  ways of doing things...  Perhaps they think they are the only way or the way things should be done, or perhaps they just do them because it pleases them to conform with the traditions of the past.

    As often as you use incense, would you know the exact reasons why you use incense when you do, why you chose those the incenses you do, whre you place them, how you light them, etc?    Or are there times you have other things on your mind and just automatically pick a particular scent without thinking about it?   Are there certain scents you perfer at sometimes but not others?
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« Reply #2 on: 03 07, 2009, 08:46: PM »

Well we know of at least one use of ritual incense among Klingons, the time Kurn wanted to kill himself and Worf went out to buy the incense that he would need. Other than that, I can see some being used in ceremonies like the one Worf went through prior to his wedding, where they all went into the caves, although there was no specific mention of it.

For years in what would become the early days of the qaptaQ we used quite a bit of incense. In later years we got away from that for purely functional reasons. The way we presented and used it was a direct result of the religious traditions that the two meycha grew up in, and really had no Klingon feel to it.

So this is by no means authoritative but I think Klingons do use incense for some rituals although I do not know the reasons. As for day to day use, that is probably more of a personal thing, but I can see Klingons who are a very primal lot, using it on ships and space stations to add some of the scents of home to an otherwise odorless metal box.

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« Reply #3 on: 03 28, 2009, 06:27: AM »

qoSagh...   but I can see Klingons who are a very primal lot, using it on ships and space stations to add some of the scents of home to an otherwise odorless metal box.

Or perhaps, as Kirk’s surgeon specialist remarked, to cloak the stench of a metal box. Metals + oxygen + nitrogen + respiration waste gasses react to form different gasses with their own distinct odors. Add to that the smells generated during battle by the burning of metals and plastics and excited Klingons and I can imagine it getting pretty thick in that metal box, especially in small confined areas such as bridges and engineering rooms.
(Unfortunately, chemistry is a personal failing point for me, and I cannot explain the processed involved. If there is anyone out there who can elaborate, please do so!)

To what extent this would put a strain under the environmental controls and air circulation and filtration systems I do not know. I do remember from TFR a mention of increased humidity on board as a reward/celebration for a victorious outcome. Adding any extra strain to a ship’s environmental control systems would best be done during idle times; during pursuit or combat, all available resources would be directed towards the task at hand, leaving nothing left over for relative luxuries such as pumping extra chemicals throughout the vessel.

Bringing the scents of home with you in a metal box is a luxury, though an economical one. But with the likelyhood of Klingons from far-flung and very different worlds serving together in small spaces, who gets to choose the comfort scent? Such things are as much a matter of personal taste as one’s place of origin. I think that burning incense aboard a military ship would be limited by practical considerations to those whose rank entitles them to live one or two to a room, as opposed to the grunts in the barracks who are condemned to live with the smells of each other.

Whether stationed on board an Imperial ship or living on the family farm, Klingons rely much more heavily on their sense of smell than Humans. In societies where justifiable paranoia is the norm, would adding discretionary (optional) scents such as perfume and incense be an extra security measure, in that the user is mucking up the olfactory mix so that it is harder for others to “sniff them out” (both literally and figuratively)?

TFR mentions incense in the brief sexual encounter between Vrenn and the Gunner. Perhaps there are herbal extracts or other materials that, when burned and inhaled, effect the sensory experiences in some way. I also remember a brief mention that the monks of Boreth always had something burning. I believe this was done to induce “visions,” though I don’t remember whether or not this was explicitly stated.

I suspect that burning herbs to alter perceptions has been with all sentient species from the moment they discover or are introduced to fire. (“I don’t remember that tree smelling that good before. And did I just hear the sounds of tidal creatures come out of the baby’s mouth?”) What is incense but an herb-based mixture, finely ground and compressed tight enough to burn?

All that and I don’t think I’ve quite answered Kvoth’s question. Who else wants to speculate? I must get back to PMs, favicons, the use of the apostrophe in account names, and my notes on Imperial macroeconomics. If only I could find an incense blend that would sharpen my powers of concentration.... }}8 S

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