The Samas are a human culture from the Continuation universe. Once a powerful Nation, they eventually fragmented into diverse subcultures not considered a unified Nation. They principally inhabit the galaxies of Selbûn and Afebat. Their traditional language is Dabunè. In later years, it developed into various strains collectively called Dab. Their motto is "destusee" (Dabunè: "we overcome").
Traditional Sama name order is inverted from other Nations' so that the surname is first.
The Pre-Terraforming EraEdit
The ancestors of the Samas, the Gorusmas, were the only colonists on the planet Daughter not of Ra-Ledis origin. They are generally accepted to be later arrivals than the Ra-Ledis people. They were always somewhat culturally separate from the Ra-Ledis people but share the characteristic of having developed a language that is not directly Earth-based and may have originated as a code. They were less technologically advanced than the Ra-Ledis, and after the devastation of Daughter, accepted assistance in space travel and terraforming.
The Terraforming EraEdit
From early times, the Samas had a powerful belief that expansion was necessary to preserve Earth-based life. They terraformed more planets than any other Nation, though often with less biodiversity and stability. During the terraforming era, they began to codify a religious and social tradition that prized technological advance, exploration, and growth as a process of unifying intelligence in the universe.
The Sama EmpireEdit
Spurred by this mission to expand and develop, the Samas went through a long period of technological and scientific advancement, as well as population growth and space exploration. They often studied with the Ybians, though in smaller numbers than the Ránlans. They also developed a complex social and religious system, including a hereditary nobility and a powerful priest class. Their social patterns became increasingly patriarchal, partly due to a cultural pressure on women to bear many children. The arts flourished in this era. Music, in particular, was highly relevant in their religion.
In the last few centuries BE, the Samas became the first Nation to deploy jae ships for near instantaneous space travel. For a time, this led to considerable economic growth and many contributions to space exploration. However, their jae ships spread jae contamination, which resulted in the so-called Quark Shift Plague, which began to devastate the Sama worlds. Finally, to find sanctuary for refugees of the Plague, they petitioned the Kiri Empire for permission to colonize the Feyléna planets, which had no permanent human inhabitants. The Kiris refused. The Samas pressed forward with this move to colonized these "Haven Planets" in any case, and the conflict escalated into war. The conflict ended with the mysterious War's End disaster (1 BE), which destroyed most macroscopic life on most Sama planets. This disaster was correctly thought to be related to jae use. This marked the end of the Sama Empire.
Recolonization and the Ash'torian EraEdit
Over the next 2000 years, remnants of the Samas slowly recolonized many of their ancestral worlds. These efforts were mostly conducted world by world and resulted in a loosely knit collection of Sama subcultures. During this time the Ash'torians (and to a lesser extent Leddies) were also recolonizing many of these worlds. This eventually resulted in the Ash'torian colonial occupation of many Sama populations. These populations revolted against Ash'torian imperialism in a movement known as Striving. Circa 2100, the Ash'torian sphere of influence contracted and hostilities between the peoples waned. The worlds that remained most independent and ecologically productive throughout this era were in the galaxy of Afebat.
Though Jana tech originated on the primarily Sama planet of Perdita, Samas in general were late comers to the use of jae tech for Jana Walking, mainly because they lacked the infrastructure to develop it extensively. However, in the later Jana Era, when socioeconomic problems led to the fragmentation of most Nations, the Samas were somewhat culturally buffered by a social system that was already organized around individual planetary governments. Their culture, thus, experienced less dramatic change than some others. Ultimately, they blended extensively with Ash'torian and Leddie populations. Since the police force of Jana, Durpey, originated as Pey on the Sama planet of Shi-Durn, a high proportion of the humans who later interbred with these Pey were of Sama origin. Thus, Durpey preserved some of Sama culture.
Samas are stereotypically regarded as blond and blue-eyed, though many other colorations exist. Their skin is typically pale to dark brown. Their language and some common facial features suggest Asian antecedents, as well as European, on Earth. This makes the predominance of recessive blond hair and blue eyes surprising. One theory is that the Gorusmas genetically altered this characteristic on Daughter in order to distinguish themselves from the Ra-Ledis, but this is purely conjectural.
Family and Gender RelationsEdit
Traditional Samas had strong family affiliations, favor nuclear families with several children, and tended to regard the father as head of the family. The society was patriarchal. Homosexuality was generally looked down on though not forbidden. Where it occurred, particularly among men, one partner might be viewed as subservient to the other. Religious ceremony and the arts were central to daily life and priests and artists highly regarded: these roles could be filled by either men or women and were the main outlet for women to have a strong voice in public discourse. Prostitution was common for both men and women, though much more so for women, and generally had a religious element.
Larger Community StructureEdit
Communities mirrored the structure of the family: they were oriented around a first citizen and elders who, in turn, became representatives at higher levels of social organization. Representatives might be elected or chosen by descent or other means. At high levels of organization (planetary and above), leadership roles were generally hereditary.
After the fall of the Sama Empire, many subcultures emerged. In general, they tended to be more egalitarian and less rigidly ceremonial, though religion continued to be important in many of them.
The dominant Sama religion is Shonac (Dabunè: "the golden way"). Though very widely practiced and culturally central, it was not enforced. Unbelievers were tolerated as long as they showed respect for the religion. Shonac is a complex polytheistic religion. (Leddie and Ash'torian traditions have both borrowed gods and stories from it.) Its divine narrative focuses on a pantheon of gods and goddesses who represent different roles, such as king, queen, reason, love, etc. These gods inhabit a different dimension, which is typified by a dreamlike chaos and psychological confusion and distress. The gods affect humanity in two ways: 1) by directly interceding in response to prayers and 2) indirectly by a cosmic bleeding through of their emotions into the human universe. Of the two, this second agency is more powerful. Human emotions also bleed through to the gods. Thus, a primary function of human action and prayer is to stabilize the emotions and minds of the gods by using ceremony and self-discipline to calm them. A main means of achieving this is musical performance of a very systematic and ritualized variety.
In the Jana Era, it was often remarked that properties of Jana echo the realm of the gods. Among followers of Shonac, it became common to interpret Jana as the dimension of the gods, but it should be noted that Shonac predates all known human contact with Jana by several thousand years.
Unification and SunderingEdit
Unification and Sundering are the main principles of Sama philosophy. The goal of human existence is though to be the unification of the universe. What this means is subject to debate, but it is often interpreted as a psychological or soulful harmony all higher intelligences (human, alien, divine). The opposite of unification is sundering, often interpreted as a conflict or the breaking of relationships. When an act of sundering is repaired, the situation is said to be "reunified."