Forum: Prospective Challenges

Discussing: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

'For so we reckon Men in our lore, calling them the High, or Men of the West, which were Númenoreans; and the Middle Peoples, Men of the Twilight, such as are the Rohirrim and their kin that dwell still far in the North; and the Wild, the Men of Darkness.' Faramir speaking to Frodo in "The Window on the West", Chapter 5, Book IV, The Two Towers. Tolkien frequently offers us this division between "sophisticated" cultures, with "advanced" technology, art and social organisation, and "primitive" peoples who seem to live much simpler lives. There seems (at first glance) to be an attitude that the sophisticated cultures are superior and it's the natural order for them to dominate and support their more "backwards" distant cousins. Yet are these "primitive" people really so backwards? The Lossoth have to rescue the beleaguered Arnorians and (quite rightly) warn them not to board the Elven-ship which founders in the ice. The Woses of the Drúadan Forest are clearly superior woodsmen and scouts (yet it seems the so-called "civilised" Gondorians and Rohirrim hunt them to death). The (related?) Drúedain of the First Age who came with the Folk of Haleth appeared to have some strange "magical" powers and were skilled in healing, yet were considered “unlovely”. I would be very interested in seeing stories in which the assumed "superiority" of the High and Middle Peoples is challenged by the Wild Peoples. This nuzgûl doesn't only apply to Men; there's a similar division between the Elves (Vanyar/Noldor/Teleri, Sindar and Avari). Hobbits too are divided between the settled folk of the Shire and the Outsiders, such as Sméagol's people. Even the "bad guys" show the division - Saruman's Uruk-Hai clearly consider themselves a cut above the Mordor orcs, and there seems to be a status division between Mordor Uruks and Northern breeds. Perhaps dwarves living in the great cities look down on their wandering and less settled kin? Anyone interested? Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Sure, I'd be interested! I've got a big list of challenges already, so why not keep joining more? CLF, who is getting tired of typing "CLF, so is typing Alexa

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

This nuzgûl doesn't only apply to Men; there's a similar division between the Elves (Vanyar/Noldor/Teleri, Sindar and Avari). Hobbits too are divided between the settled folk of the Shire and the Outsiders, such as Sméagol's people. Even the "bad guys" show the division - Saruman's Uruk-Hai clearly consider themselves a cut above the Mordor orcs, and there seems to be a status division between Mordor Uruks and Northern breeds. Perhaps dwarves living in the great cities look down on their wandering and less settled kin? *sigh* So many nuzgul, so little time... I have a fairly well-developed plot for first contact between the Lossoth and Dunedain (it even has a working title: "Savages"). But now that you mention it, I find myself wondering how an orc would have viewed a Haradri and vice versa. I'm definitely interested. Who knows when I'll find the time to write these ideas, but count me in. Long deadline would be nice, though. Marta

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Hey Alexa! Glad to hear you're interested. Did you have a particular combination of races in mind? I'm probably going to do something on the Lossoth thinking the Arnorians shouldn't board the Elven ship. Cheers, Liz (And, you know, maybe you should think about staying away from this fascinating forum, for the sake of your health.... Whatever you do, don't browse the nuzgul hutch. Just to make sure you avoid it, I'll point out that It's that way. )

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Marta wrote: But now that you mention it, I find myself wondering how an orc would have viewed a Haradri and vice versa. Ooh, now there's an interesting idea... Although I think I was mostly looking for differences within a single race rather than between races. And I did like the cross-cultural confusion in "Savages" when you outlined it to me. Why not write both? Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Hey Alexa! Glad to hear you're interested. Did you have a particular combination of races in mind? I think I might . . . maybe something between the people of Gondor and Haradrim. I was thinking of having Eldarion end up loving a Haradrim woman. (And, you know, maybe you should think about staying away from this fascinating forum, for the sake of your health.... Whatever you do, don't browse the nuzgul hutch. Just to make sure you avoid it, I'll point out that It's that way. ) That way? Hmmm . . . it looks like fun! *skips away happily toward the Nuzgul Hutch* Alexa

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

I think I might . . . maybe something between the people of Gondor and Haradrim. I was thinking of having Eldarion end up loving a Haradrim woman. Excellent. If anyone else is interested, I'm looking to add some entries to the Resources section in the near future for some of the races and peoples mentioned in my opening post (Haradrim are already covered). So if you want me to go off and reseearch a more obscure race for you, now's your chance to ask! Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

I'm already bitten, Liz! In one of my ever-in-progress stories (SSP: Envinyanta), I have a Haradric character who's going to play a rather major role soon, generally talking about cultural distinctions and beind annoying. And as if that weren't enough, I've also been planning a Sindar-Noldor culture clash, and an Elf-meets-Men-for-the-first-time story, and something else about the Haradrim and Gondorians. Ah, enough rambling...count me in! - Noldo

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Sounds great! When are you going to write them? Alexa

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Hi Noldo I'm already bitten, Liz! Excellent. All your story ideas sound fascinating. I'll particularly look forward to seeing the Sindar-Noldor culture clash, as I'm not very good at writing elves and I think it's one of the most fascinating culture clashes in Tolkien - both the same and yet very different perspectives on the world! Ah, enough rambling...count me in! So, that makes four.... I just need another vic...volunteer. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

When am I going to write them? *bashes head against keyboard* Celeborn! Kindly behave! And Maedhros Feanorion, STOP punching him! Stop it! I think that answers it to an extent.

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

That answers my question.

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Rah! Rah! Just one more victim needed to make this challenge. Any takers? The 5th bitee for this nuzgul gets a pair of free mithril shin guards... cheers, nrink

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Gah! You people! *howl of rage* I AM TRYING TO ACTUALLY FINISH A STORY BEFORE TAKING ON ANOTHER, HERE, PEOPLE!! ARGH! For love of Eru, the sake of all the Valar, and in the name of Luthien the Fair, give me a long deadline! A year, please! I'm running out of bandages for my ankles! ~Nuzgul!Plagued!Allie Oh: I posted these altered movie lines to HA a little bit ago, in moments of silliness, and it seems extremely apt here... They have taken two chairs, the dresser, the shelves, the fridge, and both bunk beds. I have barred my desk but cannot hold them for long. Their fangs gleam. Bites, bites in the dark. I cannot get out. A herd moves in the dark. I cannot get out. They are coming. ~Excerpt from The Book of Alliesdormroom This is no rabble of mindless plotbunnies. These are Nuzgul: their devices are fiendish, and their fangs long. ~what should be the Hutch's Official Slogan.

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Allie, I sympathise, I really do. Take a quick look at my own nuzgul notebook: there are 36 ideas in there. And every time I manage to write something and cross it off the list, I get another two ideas. On the other hand, I'm also cackling maniacally because I think I now have five pledges: Tanaqui, Marta, CLF, Noldo and Meril. Deadlines I'm easy on - nrink, are there any gaps in the distant future where this can be slotted in? Love both the "quotes" btw! Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

On the other hand, I'm also cackling maniacally because I think I now have five pledges: Tanaqui, Marta, CLF, Noldo and Meril. Yep, cackle away, Liz, cackle away... Give me a long deadline, you have my full permission to cackle! ~Allie "Give me a long deadline, or give me death!"

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

An interesting premise, Tanaqui, and a chance to stretch my fanfic muscles. Have you a suggestion for a combo for a person who hasn't read the books in a while? I won't say how long, I'd be too embarrassed. Something simple for the uninitiated? thanks, Buchs

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Hi Buchs (And welcome to the site, and challenges in particular, as I see you joined HASA very recently!) Have you a suggestion for a combo for a person who hasn't read the books in a while? Well, I would personally love to see something about the Rohirrim (and Gondorians?) and the Wild men of the Drúadan Forest, led by headman Ghân-buri-Ghân. This main encounter is with Théoden and Éomer in Chapter 5 of Book V (Rotk): The Ride of the Rohirrim, when Ghân-buri-Ghân says. 'Wild men are wild, free, but not children,' he answered. 'I am great headman, Ghân-buri-Ghân. I count many things: stars in sky, leaves on trees, men in the dark. You have a score of scores counted ten times and five. They have more. Big fight, and who will win? And many more walk round walls of Stone-houses.' and 'Dead men are not friends to living men, and give them no gifts,' said the Wild Man. 'But if you live after the Darkness, then leave Wild Men alone in the woods and do not hunt them like beasts any more.' (Also, Aragorn grants them the forest in Chapter 6 of Book VI (RotK): Many Partings.) I would really like to see a story explaining those remarks! Perhaps, as the Drúadan Forest contains one of the warning beacons, Eilenach, with two other beacons (Amon Din and Nardol) close by, there has been conflict between the beacon-keepers and the Wildmen? Anyway, I hope that sparks some thoughts. Don't forget to check out the Resources section as part of your research - there's a good entry for the Drúadan Forest, for instance. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Hmm... Let's see, shall the nuzgul mistress be kind and make it a year for everyone? . Nice work, Liz! And keep 'em coming everyone! cheers, nrink

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Let's see, shall the nuzgul mistress be kind and make it a year for everyone? That works for me! Are you happy with the original prompt and title (it's maybe not the snappiest), or do you want me to come up with something different? Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Hey Liz, On my part, I think it's fine - I'll trip off and put it up. Let me know if you want any changes in the wording. Edit: Challenge is up, people. Hop over here and sign up!. cheers, nrink

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Thanks nrink! I have my placeholder.

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

We need a year. Definitely. I mean, I'm running out of notebook to write down ideas. I'm running out of hard-disk to write stories. I'm running out of time to post stories. Drat.

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Yep, that definitely works. I'm going to need a while . . .I probably have around ten stories or more that I need to finish, but everytime I do just about anything, especially looking in this forum , I get more ideas . . . and I have to write them! I don't know if I'm ever going to finish one story in my life . . .

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

I don't know if I'm ever going to finish one story in my life . . . I'm resigned to it by now. I've fatalistically decided that I'll probably go to my grave with at least a dozen unfinished stories. *sigh* C'est la vie, when one hangs out in forums like these... ~Allie

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

I'm resigned to it by now. I've fatalistically decided that I'll probably go to my grave with at least a dozen unfinished stories. *sigh* C'est la vie, when one hangs out in forums like these... I know exactly how you feel. Hopefully I am going to at least be able to finish the story that I have been writing for this Challenge. "Oases" is now up--even though I have barely anything written so far. I'm not sure I'll even finish it, since Romance is not one of my interests. Alexa

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Yep, it does spark some thoughts, Tanaqui. Must dig out copies of these books. What do I do with the story when I write it? I can postulate whatever I want from those remarks? What's the deadline for the piece? Yes, new to HASA, new to fanfic, still lost in the site. It's confusing, but not confusing. Thanks for the hello. Buchs

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Yep, it does spark some thoughts, Tanaqui. Must dig out copies of these books. Excellent What do I do with the story when I write it? You will need to upload it to the site through the "My Stuff" section (you will need to activate yourself as an author first, I think) and then "enter" it into the Challenge, either through the "My Stuff" section or the "Challenges" section. If you haven't already discovered them, them are excellent popup tutorials to step you through these processes, available by clicking on the "tutorial" links near the top right hand corner of most pages (just underneath the "Sections/Bookmark/Search" menu). I can postulate whatever I want from those remarks? Absolutely. If you look at the fiction here, you'll see it ranges from stories where authors stick strictly within the canon of what was published in Tolkien's lifetime, ones where authors use canon as a jumping off point for their own inventions but try not to contradict anything Tolkien wrote (including what was published posthumously), and Alternate Universes or ones where authors use only those parts of canon they feel appropriate to the story they want to tell. So feel free to take the story whereever you want. What's the deadline for the piece? A whole year away but you can certainly post sooner! You can also take a "placeholder" in a challenge, which allows you to still enter a story in the challenge after the deadline. *looks sideways at Challenge Managers and hopes she got all that right* Yes, new to HASA, new to fanfic, still lost in the site. It's confusing, but not confusing. Yes, I remember that feeling! It's a big site with a lot going on and probably best to explore it bit by bit. Feel free to ask questions - you can always e-mail the admins, post in the forums or e-mail me privately if you wish (you can contact othe members through their member bios). Thanks for the hello. You're welcome. Thanks for thinking about taking up the challenge! Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Ah, I don't think I'll even finish this Challenge's. I mean, I started a thing about Sindar and Noldor in Beleriand. Then my mind went off on a tangent (yes, I had Geometry today), and voila! Out emerged a piece about Celeborn meeting Earwen. So...um, yeah. I'll never finish anything I start seems to be the case here, unless said thing is < 500 words and/or is for English class.

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

I probably won't ever finish anything, either. I mean, I just started another story today! I can't find a way to finish them. *sigh*

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

I like this idea - not sure I'd get round to writing anything myself, though. I'd say Middle Earth is rife with snobbery between races. In fact, I think it's skit time: Lothlorien. Elrond is visiting his in-laws, Celeborn and Galadriel. They are all drinking tea from fine, dainty little cups. Elrond: Have you heard of this new game that men play? I caught Estel trying to teach it to the twins. Each player wields a stick and endeavours to strike the other; and whosoever draws the most blood is declared the victor! (shudders) 'Cudgelling' is the name they give it. Galadriel: Savages. Celeborn: (nods in agreement and crosses legs)

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Well, I've just finished a story which seems fairly apt for this challenge. (As Allie informed me ;) ) Though it's not from the POV of the 'savage' culture. But it *is* about learning to value a culture which is less technological, and to see that (for example) just having good swords isn't enough to make you brave. So if you need an extra person to get this off the ground, I can enter, no problem!

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Please enter your story. The more viewpoints, the merrier. Your description sounds fascinating. RiverOtter

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Hi Marnie Sorry it's taken me a while to reply! Either culture's POV is fine. And stories that explore how people value different things, and that technology or "progress" are not necessarily "better", were exactly what I was looking for. So please enter the story if you haven't already done so. Cheers, Liz

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Just a quick question regarding this challenge (or rather challenges in general), and I know I could probably look it up somewhere but am too lazy to do so at the moment: Is it possible to enter a story for more than one challenge? This particular challenge description fits soo perfectly for the story that wolfwind and I are writing for the Tagteam Challenge ('Frost and Thaw', dealing with Arvedui's experience with the Lossoth) that I am seriously considering entering it for this challenge as well. Cheers, fliewatuet

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

As I recall, you can enter a story for more than one challenge. RiverOtter

 

 

Re: Sophisticated Cultures and Primitive Peoples

Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. I also checked the Challenge-FAQ (should have done so in the first place ...) May I enter a story in more than one open challenge? Yes. All you have to do is make another entry form. Go to "Challenges" in the left-hand menu of "My Stuff" and select the story. Retrieve it, then select the second Challenge you would like to enter it into, its status, and then click "Add". Your story now has a second entry form and will be listed with a second Challenge. Will discuss this issue with my co-author ... fliewatuet

 

 

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