The Nayabaru culture is a Nekenalosan wide-spread secular, anarcho-totalitarian culture with very little sub-cultural fragmentation, born in part of Ysikary's tampering with the neurology of the main adherents (the Nayabaru species) and in part from instincts the Nayabaru species originally possessed.
The Nayabaru culture is or once was lived by:
- most (but not all) of the Nayabaru species
- certain Nayabaru-raised kavkema
The Nayabaru are very sceptical of non-Nayabaru who purportedly obey their cultural norms, but will usually quickly come to accept the curious exception to the rule of thumb (that only Nayabaru live Nayabaru culture) if their superior assures them of the authenticity of the claim.
A notable 'exception' to that rule is Teranyina. She earned the Nayabaru's trust long ago and has maintained her position by word of mouth ever since. Very few Nayabaru consciously think about her status as a foreign element in their culture, since they're often taught of her existence at a very young age.
Membership to the Nayabaru culture is revoked by ostracism - which is how come some Nayabaru are not part of it.
The Nayabaru culture thrives of the following values:
- honesty is a necessary component for social functioning
- death may never be wilfully inflicted upon a sapient creature
- every Nayabaru has a natural place in the social hierarchy
There are several dire consequences to this set of rules.
For one, social mobility is practically non-existent - the closest phenomenon to social mobility (downward mobility in the form of ostracism notwithstanding) is a conclusion of apprenticeship for tasks within Nayabaru culture that require much prior education.
Apprenticeship is an interesting case: Since failure is not an option, but the only way to remove someone from a position is to ostracise them, Nayabaru that turn out to be unfit for a certain task are usually nonetheless granted the positions they were apprenticing for, barring unacceptable behaviour. The same footnote applies to jobs that they were 'born into'.
For two, the Nayabaru suffered a massive identity crisis during the peak time of their war with the kavkema, as there were losses on both sides. However, if asked, the Nayabaru attribute (out of necessity) all deaths that occurred during the decades of war to the kavkema, who 'forced their hand'. What might once have been a reasonable position to hold has encrusted to a parody to itself that the Nayabaru are quite happy to embrace: They will gladly imprison kavkema until the end of their natural lives and they have no objection to torturing their prisoners. They only take great care not to kill them.
For three, Nayabaru born with an ability to lie (a neurological mutation) can exploit the system if they are intelligent enough to cover up evidence of their lies. Nayabaru are not commonly in the business of mistrusting each other and are happy to take the first plausible explanation of errant behaviour at face value. This flaw also extends toward Nayabaru that are simply unaware of their own insincerity (such as Toben in the prequel book).
Nayabaru are very accepting of their place in society and commonly eschew the idea of moving in either direction along the social axis, as rising would give them greater responsibility, while falling would reduce their influence.
Since Nayabaru are expected to know their place by instinct once they are able to speak, there are not many options available to a Nayabaru, and the titles they could claim are often broad. Only very few Nayabaru will bother specialise within a title.
All in all, the Nayabaru culture is not friendly toward progress, because:
- …the culture neither rewards exceptional skill nor punishes bad performance.
- …social harmony is preferred over scepticism.
- …specialisation is rare.
That said, given their love of honesty as a virtue, they are a staunchly secular culture with a decent understanding of their own psychological functioning, growing up to be self-reflected and to seek evidence for any claims they wish to make. (That said, their self-reflection does not always yield the right answers, of course. They are extremely prone to (very effectively) rationalising their own behaviours, more so than human beings.)
Sociopolitical interactions occur on two levels: Title and individual. Leverage occurs by titles. Nayabaru do not question titles, themselves practically unable to lie about their own. Titles are more transient than individual identity, of course, though they are much more static than in human cultures.
Note that deliberately title-free Nayabaru exist, though they have traditionally been considered dangerous individuals, as other Nayabaru are both hesitant to attack individual identity (though they certainly will) and used to that Nayabaru without a title desperately want to regain a title. Acceptance of these strange Nayabaru (who usually simply are so varied in personal skill as that a title would unnecessarily restrict them) has gotten better in recent centuries, but they still tend to be peripheral to Nayabaru society. (That said, ironically, it is usually title-free Nayabaru that are the harshest judge of other title-free Nayabaru - owing to a strong desire to establish themselves as an individual, rather than being lumped into a group with title-free Nayabaru in general, as would otherwise occur.)
Banners are an emphasis-device for social situations. Since tattoos are permanent, while conveying rank, they do not convey one's dedication to a rank. As such, in situations where one wishes to denote one's dedication to a rank (frequently done when leaving one area where all people know each other and heading to another for temporary matters), one will wear banners denoting one's rank.
'Wearing' banners comes in three forms:
- coiled around upper arms, joined by a band across the back at height of the shoulders
- like a scarf, looped around the back of the neck, with the ends draped across one's chest
- an 'X'-shaped 'banner' worn in combination with one of the other two variants, with two strips draped across the back and the other two strips coiled around the other banner so that their ends lie on the Nayabaru's shoulders (either on top in the scarf-like variant or across the shoulder-blades in the other)
There are, however, also rank-neutral banner designs. These evolved to signal respect even when one's rank was not important to the situation, e.g. because the people involved would not be working together directly, but were more interested in exchanging ideas.
Title-less Nayabaru are known to use rank-neutral banners somewhat excessively to 'show' that they are 'willing' to submit to social structures. (This often manages to pacify Nayabaru primarily because of the aforementioned desire of the Nayabaru to accept even vaguely plausible explanations from their fellow Nayabaru - not because it's actually convincing in the strictest sense of the word.)
- Biological Weapons
- “Telephones” which connect local areas (information meant to reach someone further away is relayeed)
- “Trains” which are used primarily to transport cargo, rarely used by Nayabaru purely to travel