A tradition exists with the Ice Tribes of the northern Sarvonian continent, particularly the Vertans, who live in the farthest reaches of the Icelands Coast. This tender custom of the Northern Ice Tribes is a gift from the mother to her newborn child: a piece of the baby's umbilical cord is sewn into a leather amulet, said to ensure Nechya's blessing for the wearer.
As a myth of the
tells: ages past, when humans were created by
the union of Phoblit and Nechya, the first human
born was connected to Nechya with what was known as "Nechya’s Rope", the Vertan
name for the umbilical cord. This “rope" is considered sacred because of their
reverence for life, and therefore, when the piece, which is about a
handspan long, attached to
the child dries and falls off, it is kept. A special leather pouch is made by
the mother of a newborn, decorated with paint, or with beads or shells, and the
dried “rope" is placed inside. The mother whispers a private prayer to Nechya
wishing the child a good life, then the pouch is sewn shut. These prayers
commonly ask for fertility for female babies, and strength in battle for the
Though the female babies are not considered as desirable as the males, they are given this prayer so that they may grow up and give birth to more males. The male babies are often given a small totem, an arrowhead for example, to keep in the pouch as well. This totem is believed to transfer a bit of magic to the wearer. An arrowhead would be considered to give off luck when it came to hunting or to warfare; a coin might be given to imbue the wearer with the gift of fortune.
The pouch is kept around the child’s neck, and stays there through the course of one’s life, never to be taken off. It is, however, repaired through the years, if the pouch were to get damaged, or brittle from age. To lose one is considered serious. When this happens, a tribal shaman will pray over the person, asking the gods for protection. Meanwhile, another pouch is made and a lock of the person’s hair and a small personal item is placed in the new amulet. However, a new amulet is never considered as strong in protection as the original. All possible attempts will be made to reacquire the original.
Location. This old tradition is still practiced regularly by the Ice Tribes in the Ice Coast regions of Vertans, Filmainrim, and as far south as Sanartrim. There are a few people in the other tribes that still practice this tradition, but very few. Among the Himilko, the tradition has been lost completely. As there is more intermingling with societies from the south, this quaint custom seems, unfortunately, to be losing its importance.
Variations throughout the Ice Tribes: The Vertans are the most fervent in their belief that the loss of the amulet has grave consequences. Warriors that have lost their amulet have been known to spend days fasting and praying, while a new amulet is made. More so, some of these warriors have been known to replace the lost umbilical cord with another body part, such as a little finger, a toe, or a piece of ear. This practice has been attributed to the myth of Uraghadze, where a mighty warrior offered a great sacrifice to regain Nechya's favour.
History/Origin. There is a story told of the importance of Nechya's Amulet. No one knows the origins of the story, just that it has been passed down from generation to generation since the beginning of time. All the Ice Tribes know this story, but the Vertan people hold it dearest to them. The hero, Uraghadze, would go on to figure in more myths of the Ice Tribes.
Uraghadze and the
In the forgotten time, there was once a warrior who was named Uraghadze.
He was a mighty warrior, and the leader of his people. It happened that
one day he was out hunting alone, when he became face to face with the
Caracal. Knowing that his death
might well be imminent, Uraghadze readied his
spear and faced off against
Caracal. The man and the beast
fought savagely for several days, neither tiring, neither getting the
upper hand. Though Uraghadze was wounded, and exhausted, he at last was
able to pierce Caracal's flesh,
wounding the animal gravely. Caracal,
knowing that he would die, snatched from the neck of Uraghadze the amulet
of Nechya's Rope. Caracal then
ran off across the snow, leaving Uraghadze alone.