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For Television Castithans, see Television Castithan.
For Game Castithans, see Game Castithan.

A Castithan is a member of one of a Votan species that somewhat resembles humans.

History[]

At some point after the War of Six (where the Votan races drove the Omec back to their homeworld) the Castithans welcomed the Indogenes, as they were fleeing the Omec, who created them. Both races shared a home planet called Daribo, in the Votani star system. However, even with this seemingly peaceful cohabitation, Castithan and Indogene both claim to be the "highest" of all the Votani races, which led to bickering between them.

Castithans later conquered the planet Irath and renamed it Casti. Most Castithans on the TV series have come from Casti rather than Daribo, including Datak and Stahma Tarr.

Overview[1][]

Castithan

Castithans are an aristocratic race of humanoid Votanis that originated on the planet Daribo and is known for pale skin, long silvery blond hair and slender features. They are proud and haughty, and tend to dominate others in social situations.

These qualities, coupled with a shrewd intelligence and unencumbered ambition, have helped them adapt to life on Earth. But Castithans are also vain and given to conceit. They are apt to bristle at the mere implication that another race might exceed them in intellect or beauty.

Castithans have a rigid social structure and adhere to a strict caste system. Lower classes serve higher classes, and women are usually subservient to the men in their family. Certain other races believed Castithan society would change on Earth, a new planet for them, but if anything it's driven the survivors to cling to their heritage even more. For Castithans, one's place in the world is determined at birth, and appearances are everything.

Some humans use the ethnic slur "haint" to refer to Castithans, a reference to their pale color. Haint is the most derogatory slur one may call a Castithan. In real life, the word "haint" is a Southern colloquialism derived from the word "haunt," and is slang for a ghost or apparition.

The Five Liros[]

The terminology (or cosmology) of the Castithan caste system is based on cloud terminology. Specifically, the Castithan sky is broken down into different regions, and the names of the castes derive from the names of those regions.

  1. Shanje (highest caste)
  2. Valáne (people cast out of the Shanje Liro)
  3. Emine (business/merchant caste)
  4. Yuke (labor caste)
  5. Rizi (military caste)

Outcasts[]

The last "caste" is the thawandaye liro. Initially, everyone is born into one of the 5 castes, but a Castithan can be completely cast out of society. The only Castithans born without any cast would be those born to outcasts.

Marusha[]

The concept of marusha, a Castithan's reputation or social standing, is tied to their Liros. It is judged based on how well a Castithan fits into the role expected by their Liro. Their Marusha reflects their worth as a person, so Castithans will do anything to make sure their marusha is not damaged or to repair it once it is. As long as a Castithan fulfills the role they are expected to fulfill in society, they are fine, but if not, they are expected to rectify their behavior.

Language[]

Castithan is spoken very, very quickly. It's a sign of their impatience and also a challenge for anyone to keep up with them. Even the Castithan writing system (fajizwalino, literally "revered characters") is complex and irregular—and quite difficult to master. It's crucial to know whether one is speaking to a superior, an inferior or an equal in order to speak Castithan correctly (i.e. without causing offense or seeming crude).

Religion[]

Castithan Culture and Language

On Daribo, there were many religions, but those that went to Casti were followers of Rayetso. [2] Castithans' religion is called Shirivanáwo. It is extremely structured and violators of its tenets are punished severely.

A person who dies with a stain upon their immortal soul is condemned to the three hells -- a purgatory that's divided into layers according to one's liro (even in the afterlife, members of the shanje liro enjoy a nice view from a high ledge ... as millions of lower liro souls attempt to crawl their way out of their pit and overtake them). Death upon the shaming rack may save one from this fate, but only at the discretion of the Castithan god, Rayetso.

Shaming Rack[]

In a few episodes, including, "Down in the Ground Where the Dead Men Go", a Castithan cleansing ritual is performed for the purification of an individual's liro, or caste. This ritual can save people from their fate in the three hells.

Not all punishments on The Shaming Rack are fatal. For minor transgressions such as insulting a member of a higher liro, a few hours on the rack are sufficient. This is excruciatingly painful, but doesn't usually result in permanent injury. Treason, however, would normally result in total dismemberment, with the offending party's limbs being displayed in the far corners of the town as a warning to other Castithans not to step out of line.

The Shaming Rack Prayer (as performed by the Castithan priests):[]

Fárubolo líro no Ráyetso… / "God in heaven…"

Wódhazhiwe no ksa pómbuna re fávizwala do hárala. / "We look to you from below."

Fávizwala do veónupsa je… / "We have shamed you…"

Kwóro íshkudholenanda. / "But we shall be put in your grace again."

Pómbuna do nyámbulu péswa ksa… / "The stone weighing us down…"

Ji yélaka re névinonda. / "This damned one shall return to you."

Yélako lázulina ksa pómbuna do éshkilistonda. / "His gift shall strengthen us."

Yélako fomigáraya ksa pómbuna re bíhala… / "We thank him for his sacrifice…"

Kyúro fávizwo shínggyesu ksa bíhala. / "And we thank you, lord, for your acceptance."

Shanje Oathtaker[]

A Shanje oathtaker is like a made-man of the Sicilian mafia. They're a sworn brotherhood, considered untouchable by any member of the lower liros under any circumstances. While Datak Tarr may fancy himself a member of the shanje liro, it is only through his marriage to Stahma Tarr. Datak was born into the yuke liro, comprised of laborers and servants. If the oathtaker in question had wished it, he could have had Datak strung up on the shaming rack.

Names[]

Castithan names are vitally important to Castithan culture, as a name will often carry with it information about one's caste or social standing. Last names are important to Castithan nobility, as it identifies the family to which one belongs. In the history of the language, only the nobility had last names for many centuries. It wasn't until later that the lower classes obtained last names for themselves. [3]

Traditions & Customs[]

Mourning[]

Mourning tattoos are one of the oldest funerary traditions in Casti culture, dating back to the early days of their civilization. Few things are more loathsome to a Castithan of the shanje liro than marking up one's own skin, which makes these tattoos a great sign of respect toward the departed. In recent centuries, an ink blend was discovered that wears off after a short period of time, not unlike henna tattoos. This allowed body-conscious Castithans to revere their dead while also maintaining a flawless complexion.

The Castithan Prayer of Emptiness is an ancient ritual that dates back to the early days of the liro system. It is only recited by members of the shanje liro. For while it may seem surprising for a shajifyo to even admit that the lower liros are necessary, they still believe that without their own "divine light," there would be no reason for the other liros to exist.

Courtship Gems[]

Castithan courtship gems (called kyerupavo) were created by master craftsmen back on planet Casti. There are only a limited number left, since the rare gems used to create them cannot be found anywhere on Earth. Viceroy Mercado gives one to Christie Tarr in episode #18. Mercado must have paid a fortune for it. Of course, someone so highly placed within the Earth Republic can afford it.

Blood Duels[]

Individuals may participate in Castithan "blood duels" over intended mates and other competitive issues.

Relationships[]

Castithan Relationships

Although they are conservative with regard to tradition and language, Castithans tend to be very liberal with their sexuality. Sex is as much a tool of political agenda as it is an expression of love. Castithans have zero reservations about using sex as a means to an end. That’s not to say that Castithans don’t also enjoy sex to the extreme. Many of their most cherished ceremonies involve expressions of passion and desire.

Family bathing is a common practice. In both "Pilot" and "Down...Dead Men Go", Datak and Stahma Tarr bathed together with attendants present. In "Down...Dead Men Go", Alak Tarr entered the room where his parents were bathing and his mother left the tub to embrace him. In "The Devil in the Dark", Datak finds it unseemly that Christie McCawley, his prospective daughter-in-law, bathes in private.  In "Goodbye Blue Sky" it is revealed further that a bathing ritual is common among the higher liros, as a newlywed ritual with their family.

Side Notes: They often offend other Votan species with their sense of superiority. Castithans frequently bicker with Indogenes, and are known scornfully among Irathients as "haints (per "If I Ever Leave This World Alive")." 

References:[]

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