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Earth's culture facts to use in Exalted

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  • Earth's culture facts to use in Exalted

    I'm interested in various tidbit on Earth's cultures so I can use them in Exalted, from clothing, cuisines, architectures, festivals or idioms, so if you have them, post them ~

    If you see anything wrong in my post, do correct me. And feel free to ask anything related to Vietnam's culture, I'll try to answer to the best of my ability.

    To start the thread, I'm gonna talk about cloth, since I'm Jen ⊙ω⊙

    Okay, Chinese has lots of influences on its various neighbors in term of clothing (and a bunch of other stuffs too). In the spoiler from top to bottom is Lê Vietnam, Joseon Korea, Ming China, Ryukyu Okinawa and Heian Japan

    As you can see, every figures wears a type of cross-collared robe/tunic, this is the most ancient form of clothing used by all cultures in the Sinic world. If your Creation is set mainly in the Bronze age world, then this type of dress will be the most common. It's called áo giao lĩnh (交領) in my country.

    How do you wear this cross-collared thing anyway ? From the non-wearer PoV, you can see that the right collar overlay the left collar to make an Y shape, but if the cloth is made from half-transparent material like the below picture then you can see that the two collars actually forms an X shape. And of course, dead people has the order reverse, from your PoV, the corpse'll have their left collar overlay their right collar.

    You will then just use a piece of cloth tie around the hip to secure the robe (Korean Confucius scholar tie it at the chest though, like the third figure in row 2). Some may not even use it like figure 6 in the first row. Later period also added string on the garment so even if the belt is somehow loose, you still won't get a wardrobe accident

    Since people in East Asian cultures usually wear multi layers of cloths, there will be another layer of áo giao lĩnh (usually white) between the body and the outer robe.

    If your character is wearing Korea, Vietnam or China cloth, then the collar will sometime has....another collar ! It's that white square you see in the picture (call Dongjeong in Korean, Hộ lĩnh in Vietnam and huling in Chinese), it's usually white and is half the size of the giao lĩnh's collar, but the huling in Ming China and Vietnam can sometime be as big as the collar underneath. It's used to shield the collar from all the sweat from the wearer's neck and thus extending the dress's live and color.

    One more sleeve-related fact to remember is that most East Asia cloth has very wide armholes, due to the fact that people usually wear at least two layers of cloth, the armholes are wide even if the cuff are small like the red robe in the picture, and small cuff only appeared in later period (around Ming China period I think). So again, if your Creation is set mainly in the Bronze age, go full wide and baggy cuff !

    Most sleeves are long, some can even go past your arm. Since it's so wide and long, remember that if you clasp your hand together, there will be a lot of wrinkles on the sleeves like the one in the third picture.

    Traditional Vietnamese clothing specifically (since I'm not sure about the other countries) tends to get wider the lower it goes. Though just from my limited observance, Korea and China also has the same trend, with Japan as the exception.

    Another thing about the sleeves of East Asian cloths, the first picture shows that a giao lĩnh cloth is made from 8 pieces of cloth, but look at the sleeves, they aren't connected to the bodice at the armhole like modern cloth. You can see the sewing line in the second picture. Since there is no seam across the shoulder, the sleeves forms a perfectly straight line if you put the cloth on a stand.

    There is also a sewing line in the middle of the bodice like the third picture, so remember to include that in your character's clothing ôヮô

    Though in traditional painting, this sewing line is only prominent in the round collar robe (it's what the first two figure in the third picture wear), but the painter never draw the sewing line on the sleeves for some reasons (artistic perhaps ?)

    Last edited by Jen; 04-09-2017, 01:12 PM.

  • #2
    Tired as I am, I have little to add beyond: Keep going, this is some good stuff!


    • #3
      What are your thoughts on Vietnamese cuisine? That is to say, what do you think is the most important/distinguishing facet?
      I think the Southwest (An-Teng?) of Creation is meant to map to Southeast Asia, but so s possibly the Dreaming Sea over in the East; what do you think would be different between the seafaring version of that cuisine and one where they're dep inland (though admittedly next to a big body of water; actually, is the Dreaming Sea saltwater?)

      But sexually.


      • #4
        Clothing is something that really interests me, as the cross between the desire to use the aesthetics of certain cultures and whether they make sense for the environment are two things that I find often to make it harder.

        Like, I asked John awhile back about what the fashion of the people of Jiara might be like, and he broadly told me that they'd dress like people who live near rivers in a warm climate.

        Leetsepeak's Ex3 Homebrew Hub - Hub of homebrew for Exalted 3rd Edition that I've made.


        • #5
          Consider Logistics. Things that are local are less expensive than things that need to be shipped. Outside of the North anything perishable that is shipped over any kind of distance will need to be preserved (salting, brining, smoking, canning, etc.) and,while magic exists to help with that, it will make things an order of magnitude more expensive. The Nobility of the Realm or the Guild can afford it, but few others can.

          Also, as Leetspeak noted, the local climate will impact everything. What building materials do they have? Are they on an island? Have they cut down all the trees yet? Do they have domesticated animals?

          Consider Logistics.



          • #6
            Originally posted by Ellis View Post
            What are your thoughts on Vietnamese cuisine? That is to say, what do you think is the most important/distinguishing facet?
            I know this much, I desperately want to try pho.

            "Won't you believe in him? Even if there is no God, or Buddha...there is still Kamen Rider." —Taki Kazuya, Kamen Rider SPIRITS

            Now...count up all your sins.


            • #7
              A player of mine decided that Sijan is necro-Joseon. A city-state bound by ancient traditions, honors due to the dead, values on unchanging virtues and knowledge, et cetera. As such, the Sijaneses wear Durumagi and horse-hair hats. Except all black as opposed to pale tones. Among the sacrificed foodstuffs is beef-noodles, which are prepared by boiling a huge piece of beef for hours until tender enough to pull with fingers. Strands are pulled off with care, and then rolled in flour, dipped in egg, and then boiled. This is a stupidly labor-intensive task, so Sijanese funeral directors hire professional boiled-beef-pullers. Also, execution never happens -- instead those who deserve to let go of life are given a present of poison. Honor dictates one thank their executioner for the gift of death that does not harm the body.

              Sijan on our table is a very serious-silly place.


              • #8
                Originally posted by CycloneJoker View Post
                I know this much, I desperately want to try pho.
                It's pretty good! Admittedly, when I ate pho it was about five years ago, and I ate it in the United States, so the authenticity of it may be called into question.

                ​One thing I learned about it while I was eating, though, was that I had been pronouncing it wrong. I had thought it was pronounced like "Foe," but my server told me it was pronounced more like the first two letters of "fun."

                ​I immediately thought this was hysterical, because the place was named "Pho King Restaurant."

                ​Like, "Hey, guys, who wants to eat at the Pho King Restaurant?" "Charlie! There are kids here!"


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CycloneJoker View Post

                  I know this much, I desperately want to try pho.
                  Pho is godly, especially if you get it from a good restaurant. There's this wonderful hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese place in my town where the pho is divine.

                  "The true object of all human life is play. Earth is a task garden; heaven is a playground." -G.K. Chesterton


                  • #10
                    I have this imgur gallery of a bunch of people and clothing styles from around the world that I found a while back. Probably on Reddit. Anyway, it seems like the kind of thing you're looking for!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ellis View Post
                      What are your thoughts on Vietnamese cuisine? That is to say, what do you think is the most important/distinguishing facet?
                      Hmmm, rice and chopstick is a little "Asia generic"...

                      In my experience just talking about savory food in general, Vietnamese really like fresh vegetables and herbs, if you have eaten phở then you will notice that they will always serve them along with a dish of fresh herbs that you shred by hand and throw into your phở bowl. Pretty much every type of noodle dish will have a basket of herb to go with in Vietnam. It get the most crazy with food that is rolled using bánh tráng or lettuce leaf, this is when you have to combine the beef/pork with six or seven type of herbs like starfruit, bitter banana,lemongrass...etc to make a roll.

                      An everyday meal of a Vietnamese family also required canh i.e a vegetable broth with meat/fish/shrimp...etc. Canh is basically joined at the hip with rice in my country, there is this type of restaurant here called quán cơm, it serve only rice and an bunch of other savory dishes, and many working-class version of quán cơm will give you a free bag of canh !

                      Some other things about cuisine, since ancient Vietnamese started to developed among the Red river, fish and shrimp will be the main source of nutrients. The hot and humid weather also make food perseverance pretty difficult, which required people to ferment, pickle or smoked their foods to prevent spoiling, which probably explain why fish sauce exist......

                      Originally posted by Ellis View Post
                      I think the Southwest (An-Teng?) of Creation is meant to map to Southeast Asia, but so s possibly the Dreaming Sea over in the East; what do you think would be different between the seafaring version of that cuisine and one where they're dep inland (though admittedly next to a big body of water; actually, is the Dreaming Sea saltwater?)
                      I always wonder how to portray An-Teng, since Vietnam is the only country in SEA that is heavily influenced by Chinese culture, while its neighbors belongs to the culture sphere of India, not to mention the island countries like Malaysia and Indonesia are Muslim nations while Philippines has many traits from Spain's culture.


                      • #12
                        This is an alebrije. They are a type of sculptures that originated in Oaxaca, Mexico. Their creator suffered and accident that let him unconscious for days. During this time he experimented various nightmares in which he saw a variety of colorful and twisted creatures which told him the word "alebrije". When he woke up he began sculpting alebrijes and they eventually became a national treasure.

                        Alebrijes seem to have come from the Wyld, they have all kinds of shapes and sizes. Every year there's a parade in my city in which artisans expose their biggest and most amazing works.

                        I can see a town in Creation filled with this creatures. Maybe they guard the town from the Wyld, maybe they were imprinted on the locals dreams by a Raksha , maybe they're something else.
                        Last edited by Gonzo; 04-11-2017, 06:42 PM.

                        Join the Strife


                        • #13

                          There are several cultures that do this, but the one I've come across most is in the republic of Vanuatu, in the south Pacific: At a young age, some of of a boar's upper teeth are removed, specifically the ones that the lower tusks would grind against and be honed as they grew.

                          The result is tusks that grow and grow and grow; a boar whose tusks have grown in a complete circle (which takes years) is quite valuable.

                          This is also extremely painful, as the image might suggest. In addition to growing into the bone, the tusks can pierce the flesh of the cheeks as they grow.

                          I can honestly imagine a culture of swine-folk whose elite do this, likely with some sort of orthodontia to keep the tusks from piercing flesh or bone as they grow.

                          Bonus points for decoration:


                          • #14
                            So people here probably has seen design like these with fantasy Japan and Chinese costume, right ? One piece of cloth wrap around the upper body with maybe a coat to revel the boobs, or collars so low to for the viewer to see her breasts.

                            Not sure how much of this is "Stating the obvious", but those type of designs aren't real, it's pure fanservice.

                            If you do want your characters to show her breast with historically accurate dress, then the Tang and Song dynasties does have women cloths that reveal the chest area, but they have a very distinctive hairstyle and make up that may not match up to modern beauty standard, not to mention the Tang's idea of a beautiful woman is a super chubby lady :'o

                            Last edited by Jen; 04-17-2017, 03:15 PM.


                            • #15
                              Also, a guide on how wear Tang style cloth, in the first panel there should be a ribbon tie around the chest to help create the collar forms a V shape

                              Those veil that she wear on her arms is call (披帛), and there are many ways to wrap them ! Use them to wack annoying people, enhance your swag when flying or wrap around your neck/chest as a scarf for something that people don't see very often :'D

                              In all the above pictures, you can see that some of the cloths has their chest ribbon's "tails" so far apart, if you want to achieve that effect then here is how. First, you'll have the ribbon tie into a knot in the center, right. Then take one of the "tail" and wrap it continuously around the horizontal ribbon until it get to where you want, do the same with the other tail.

                              Last edited by Jen; 04-17-2017, 01:21 PM.