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weslipuqlod
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« on: 10 09, 2003, 07:37: AM »

posted on 10-14-2002 at 09:58 PM

The Rites of Ascension

I would like to have discussion on the Rites of Ascension. Over the years we have subscribed to a specific belief and ritual within House t'raQ. I outline them here for thoughts and discussion:

A Klingon is not born a warrior, being a warrior is something that must be earned. Considered an adult once able to yield a blade, when a youth becomes of age to take arms, he must be ceremoniously initiated. This ascension into adulthood is ceremoniously marked by three rites of passage.

The First Rite of Ascension, peHtay:
In the seventh month of a child's ninth year he reaches the age of inclusion, peHghep. Before his family the child will pledge his intention to become a warrior by lighting the ceremonial Qo'to'vo' candle. Qo'to'vo' candles represent the fire within the heart of a warrior, the first step on the path to adulthood. Once pledged, the youth is presented with the traditional ghojmeHtaj, boy's knife. Now the childhood games and stories, so familiar, will take on new meaning as the youth's education and training increases to prepare him for the way of the warrior.

The Second Rite of Ascension, qutluchtay:
This ceremonial passage is not described in most non-Klingon literature because of its offensive nature to many cultures. Marked in the seventh month of the youth's twelfth year, this ceremony celebrates the young Klingon preparing to be a warrior by allowing him to attack an opponent and actually draw blood for the first time.

The Third Rite of Ascension, nentay:
During the seventh month of the young Klingon's fifteenth year he attains the age of ascension, nenghep. On the eve of this third rite of passage a traditional celebration is held. Declared a lopno', the youth, soon to be a man, is presented with numerous gifts, all of which are weapons or are rich in family tradition or value. The celebration itself is a test of stamina with regards to drinking, feasting, story-telling, and mu'QaDveS. A test which will continue throughout the night and marks the young Klingon's first consumption of alcohol. As the first light of dawn breaks the horizon, those celebrants still conscious will enter the ritual chamber and stand witness to the nentay and the passage of youth into manhood using the traditional oy'naQ, painsticks.
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« Reply #1 on: 10 12, 2004, 01:39: AM »

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The First Rite of Ascension, peHtay:
Methinks that this needs be more generalized for not every child would choose for a Warrior. Not to mention that for a Militaristic Society like the Klingons if 2 or 3 chose other professions to every on that becomes a warrior for them to survive.

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The Second Rite of Ascension, qutluchtay:
Cheesy  The blood thirsty being in me loves this context. Would certainly make life interesting. Wink

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The Third Rite of Ascension, nentay:
cool It's not Klingon if it does not end in a party.

majQa', It was well written. It is refreshing to read ones words, considered and measured and presented well.

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« Last Edit: 10 12, 2004, 08:56: AM by Kesvirit » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: 10 12, 2004, 01:20: PM »

Well written, for some reason, even though I have written many Klingon rituals, I have never written a Rite of Ascension. I have Child Naming and then Initiation into our Order which by it's very nature would happen after one has "become" a warrior.

As for not all Klingons becomming warriors, I have two thoughts. First is that because the role of the Warrior is so revered in society, that only those that choose this path would need to ascend to a higher status. So there is no need for such a rite for a non-warrior.

The second and I am sure a bit less copnventional is that the rite itself has become less of a martial reality and more ceremonial for modern Klingons, in that everyone regardless of profession goes through the rites. What the one is ascending to is not so much the actual role of combatant but the ideal of the warrior, which would cross all lines of actual jobs.
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« Reply #3 on: 10 12, 2004, 08:05: PM »

I would like to point out not only is warrior assumed, judging from the pronouns so is male...


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The First Rite of Ascension, peHtay:
In the seventh month of a child's ninth year he reaches the age of inclusion, the child will pledge his intention to become a warrior by lighting the ceremonial Qo'to'vo' candle.

    This is likely to have it's basis in oldschool fandom, where the Klingons with shorter lifespans (60 instead of well over 120) have "A night of Coosing" on a cloudless night around their tenth birthday.   One parent(or perhaps both), take the child under the naked stars to declare thier genreal carrer, Navy, Marines, Administration, Science, Merchant, etc...  And discuss what support will still be available to the child when they go to the appropriate academy for their chosen carrer.   Arrangemnets are made and if accepted the child enters the appropriate carreer academy shortly there after.

   Personally, I think it makes a lot of sence for warriors to have shorter lifespans.  Since the death rate is high in times of war, so must the birthrate.   But in times of peace there is nothing to balance the birthrate, if there is a long lifespan.   Birthrate can be adjusted with social pressures, but it is slow to respond.   Biologically there is little competive advantage to an older population for the Klingons.  Unlike hyoomins where longer life allows you to accumlate more knowledge and money exponentially, honor accumulates more linearly.   The mone honor you have does not make earning more honor easier, it may make it harder...
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« Reply #4 on: 10 12, 2004, 09:49: PM »

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As for not all Klingons becomming warriors, I have two thoughts. First is that because the role of the Warrior is so revered in society, that only those that choose this path would need to ascend to a higher status. So there is no need for such a rite for a non-warrior.

The second and I am sure a bit less copnventional is that the rite itself has become less of a martial reality and more ceremonial for modern Klingons, in that everyone regardless of profession goes through the rites. What the one is ascending to is not so much the actual role of combatant but the ideal of the warrior, which would cross all lines of actual jobs.

That Klingons are status and ceremonially motivated is a given for them culturally regardless of the individuals chosen profession or "calling". Everything that we have that is cannon suggests this as well as the needs for such a culture to collectively advance.
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« Reply #5 on: 10 12, 2004, 10:17: PM »

I'll agree with the second. that all Klingons are warriors, even the farmers, administrators, musicians and scientists.    Kurak was a scientist, she wore warrior's armour and travelled by her self.   These are not things that would be done by children.   Clearly, she had more status than a child.   I can't imagine civilians would be treated as children if thier job skills extend beyond hack and slash, killing people and breaking things...
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« Reply #6 on: 10 13, 2004, 07:08: AM »

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Posted by Klythe Oct 12 2004, 01:05 PM:
I would like to point out not only is warrior assumed, judging from the pronouns so is male...
One of several reasons I declined to respond to the initial post for so long and instead opted to wait for further developments.

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Posted by qoSagh Oct 12 2004, 06:20 AM:
The second and I am sure a bit less copnventional is that the rite itself has become less of a martial reality and more ceremonial for modern Klingons, in that everyone regardless of profession goes through the rites. What the one is ascending to is not so much the actual role of combatant but the ideal of the warrior, which would cross all lines of actual jobs.
At one point in history it seems likely that anyone at any time might be requited to pick up a weapon to defend their family, clan, holdings, or allies. Thus the cliche about how "a boy becomes a man when he is old enough to hold a blade", or something to that effect. (I have seen many variations on it. What the girls were picking up has never been mentioned. Their needlepoint, perhaps?)

But just because this boy can hold a blade does not mean that he can use it with enough proficiency to do anything but injure himself. It is skill and experience that separates the little boy playing soldier from the real thing.

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Posted by Klythe on  Oct 12 2004, 03:05 PM:
...Klingons with shorter lifespans (60 instead of well over 120) have "A night of  Choosing"  on a cloudless night around their tenth birthday. One parent (or perhaps both), take the child under the naked stars to declare thier genreal carrer, Navy, Marines, Administration, Science, Merchant, etc... And discuss what support will still be available to the child when they go to the appropriate academy for their chosen carrer. Arrangemnets are made and if accepted the child enters the appropriate carreer academy shortly there after.
Thus it seems that a Rite of Ascention would be a warriors' version of that, an analog of both the bar/bat mitzva that marks one's reaching full social status as an adult and a graduation ceremony of the apprentice becoming a full journeyman at the craft they have been studying so long. I suspect there are similar versions out there for those of other crafts and professions as well. In the posts above Klythe mentions farmers, administrators, musicians and scientists.  What sorts of ceremonies would they undergo, to claim both social and professional adulthood?

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Posted by maq'mang Oct 12 2004, 04:49 PM:
Everything that we have that is cannon suggests this as well as the needs for such a culture to collectively advance.
::patented Zorak blink sfx:: Everything? You have yet to cite even one of these alleged everythings. The "Klingon Defense Force" suggests to me that the Empire is trying desperately to hold on to what it has, not to expand Imperial holdings. This is the death rattle of a khesterex culture.

There is a whole Empire out there beyond what you have seen on the screen. Expanding your own borders of knowlege will give you greater ammunition for use in such bouts of thought warfare.

(For those interested, thre is a poll/thread elsewhere on the importance of canon versus fandom.)

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Posted by Klythe Oct 12 2004, 05:17 PM
Kurak was a scientist,... Clearly, she had more status than a child. I can't imagine civilians would be treated as children if thier job skills extend beyond hack and slash, killing people and breaking things...
She did try to throw Crusher through a bulkhead. But who amongst us has not wanted to do so?

-=- Kesvirit
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« Reply #7 on: 10 13, 2004, 04:26: PM »

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Thus it seems that a Rite of Ascention would be a warriors' version of that, an analog of both the bar/bat mitzva that marks one's reaching full social status as an adult and a graduation ceremony of the apprentice becoming a full journeyman at the craft they have been studying so long

    The ceremony I described marks the *start* of studying, not the end.   It is likely the ancestor to the First Right of Ascention.  The youth is prepared to make this as the first major decision making the new understanding that thier life is now thier own to succeed or fail, the parents are placing the child at the helm of thier own life, to plot thier own course.   Help is offered, but after this day the child is permitted to do as the one pleases.

    I must admit ignorance...  Is the difference between ba[r|t] mizvas split allong gender lines?

Quote
The Second Rite of Ascension, qutluchtay:
Klingon preparing to be a warrior by allowing him to attack an opponent and actually draw blood for the first time.

     This is why old school is more fun.  Oldscholl klingons get to fight and *kill* sapients at the tender age of eight, even before thier emancipation.

     But unfortunately there is no mention of what this age and ceremony is supposed to mark.   I find that unfortunate...

Quote
In the posts above Klythe mentions farmers, administrators, musicians and scientists. What sorts of ceremonies would they undergo, to claim both social and professional adulthood?

     This sounds like a good challenge!  I think we should all take a bit of time thinking about this, and post our Ideas in a new thread...  And see who comes up with the best ceremonies for each occupation.   Any takers?
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« Reply #8 on: 10 13, 2004, 05:11: PM »

I think there would be alot of similarities in the rituals. All would speak of the history of the Empire, both as a political entity and as a people. All would speak of the noble purpose of the calling, and the need to honor traditions and family. All would speak of the need to be honorable in how the one conducts themself. I think that most would have some ceremonial presentation of the tools of the trade, a warrior might be given a dagger while a farmer might be given some sort of farm impliment, a scientist might be given some tool relevant to thier specific science. I am thinking that these would be historic tools, possibly even out of common usage.

I think that all such ceremonies might begin one or both parents leading the youth in and presenting him to whoever conducts the ceremony. The ceremony might end with either the new adult walking out alone or walking out behind the leader of the academy or a senior craftsman who they will apprentice under.

I think there would be a few speaches throughout the ceremony, probably one by a parent about raising the youth, one by the youth about being on the threshold of adulthood, one by a craftsman about the nobility of the profession, ect. I also think that there would be quite a bit of partying done after all the formalitles are done with. Perhaps the reception is a test of the new adults mettle, in that he has to be in training early the next day.

Just some basic concepts, to run with. I know I have never tried to write a ceremony that was not warrior themed.  
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« Reply #9 on: 10 13, 2004, 08:33: PM »

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Posted by qoSagh  Oct 13 2004, 12:11 PM
  • I think there would be alot of similarities in the rituals...
    [li]I also think that there would be quite a bit of partying done after all the formalitles are done with. Perhaps the reception is a test of the new adults mettle, in that he has to be in training early the next day.
    [li]Just some basic concepts, to run with. I know I have never tried to write a ceremony that was not warrior themed.
I do not think that one can merely substitute x for y in designing such a ritual. The third point quoted above is the most telling. Professions and crafts are qualitatively different, with their own standards and procedures, and one cannot force the standard As Seen On TV! Rite of Ascention into a one-size-fits-all bed of Procrustes. Everyone may need to be able to fight to an extent, but professional warriors are in the minority. Try thinking not like a warrior, but like an astrocartographer, or livestock manager, or a builder... I daresay all come with their own unique professional perspectives, and would be most interested to see the results.

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« Reply #10 on: 10 15, 2004, 02:31: PM »

I don't think the ceremonies would be identical, but I do think they would feature many functional similarities. Of course the rituals would be designed around events or occasions that were important to the specific guild or trade, that could even include the time of year (farmers would likely not hold the ceremony during either the busy planting or harvesting seasons). The Age might even be different, where a warrior might have been needed younger due to death rates, a Scientist may be needed older because of education requirements.

There could also be specific cultural duties, like one custom to have the parents present the youth and another may have the youth walk in on his own. I can see the farmers right perhaps featuring a meal made of the youths first harvest, where that would not be as important for an engineer. But the difference I think would still be less than the similarities, if only because the ceremony is one based around the reality of professional advancement.
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« Reply #11 on: 11 02, 2004, 07:05: PM »

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Professions and crafts are qualitatively different, with their own standards and procedures, and one cannot force the standard As Seen On TV! Rite of Ascention into a one-size-fits-all bed of Procrustes. Everyone may need to be able to fight to an extent, but professional warriors are in the minority. Try thinking not like a warrior, but like an astrocartographer, or livestock manager, or a builder...
The genetic evolution of the species shows they come from a common background and to assume that their culture would not have a handful of ceremonies in common such as the Ritual of Ascension would be erroneous. I submit that humans have many versions of the naming ceremony that has no bearing whatsoever on what career they take up in their future so why should the Rite of Ascension be any different. I understand the need to expand on culture but why the need to overcomplicate as simple coming of age ceremony?
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« Reply #12 on: 11 05, 2004, 06:17: PM »

I think the big question that would ultimately decide what for the rite took is what purpose is the rite serving. Is it a simple comming of age where the purpose is to move from child to adult? If so it would probably be very similar for all such ceremonies. Is it a professional advancement more like from apprentice to journeyman, in which case it would be very different.

The other factor is what type of ceremony in terms or religious or secular? A religious ceremony would of course be very different between different faiths. Think Bar Mitzva (sp?) compared to a Confirmation, similar ages, different purposes, different ceremonies. Or think College graduation, regardless of Major or Degree, the basic ceremony is more or less the same from school to school.

 
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« Reply #13 on: 04 04, 2008, 08:29: PM »

I'm not even sure it would have to be labeled as a "coming of age" ritual, but instead reflects more of a position of value to the society at large.  Before you undergo the ritual, you have no kinetic value to the society (though you may have potential value).  Once you undergo the ritual, your value and dedication to your society is proven. 

Like someone mentioned earlier, just because the ritual involves fighting doesn't mean it's necessarily based on any kind of profession.  Among the human Norse, all men were expected to be able to fight regardless of their "occupation."  I would expect the same from a warrior society like the Klingons.

I have no canon to quote in order to justify my opinions on this matter.   Smiley
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