Fire Tending
Chitsa Amara experimental fire dance, by Kiri

The Fire Tenders of the tribe represent one aspect of AniWaya's deeply spiritual roots. The Great Fire is a symbol for our lives in many ways, and these individuals' job is to tend it. It is a sacred task which not all individuals are suited for. Only the Skilled and the Master may actually feed the fire: the lower ranked Beginners must spend their time learning the story of the Fire, teaching the children and aiding the higher ranked in what they do, in order to gain the respect needed in later tiers. The Fire Tenders maintain the fire, but they also have a significant role in AniWaya's ceremonies. It is the Master alone who can re-kindle the fire, and while the Skilled and Beginners can only watch in this process, they aid the Priests of the tribe in their doings during the ceremony. Fire Tenders also participate or lead other ceremonies.

One of the most noticeable tasks of the Fire Tender is their fire dance, performed at ceremonies and practiced around the fire. It is not uncommon to see the Tenders' forms flicker in the Great Fire's light at dusk or dawn as they practice.

Beginner rank

Gata Hineyu

Five characters
Translation: Fire Maker

Those of the very bottom of the Great Fire tending tree. Gata Hineyu is a starting title and requires no other title to be held.

Main tasks
- Making sure there is adequate firewood available for the higher ranked Fire Tenders to feed the fire with.
- Maintaining a pile of firewood available for everyone in the tribe (at the Town Hall).
- Lights the torches along the central road in AniWaya Village.
- May collaborate with Craftsmen on making torches
- Practices their dance, and maintains their fire-staves and torches used in the dance
- Trains under the Second-rank and Master Fire Keeper, and helps with whatever they need help with.
- May accompany Hunters (or go alone) to acquire oils and other burning liquids for torches and fire-staves
- Teaching the children about the value of the Great Fire.

Skilled rank

Otlvna Gata

Three characters
Translation: Fire keeper

The members of the tribe who are responsible for feeding the Great Fire. To become a Otlvna Gata, one must first hold the title of Gata Hineyu.

Main tasks
- Feeding the Great Fire, keeping it lit at all times. If there are more than one Otlvna Gata, they often work shifts because it's practical.
- Maintaining the torches along the central road in AniWaya Village
- Teaching the children of the tribe why the Great Fire is sacred, and that they should stay away from it.
- Practices their dance, and maintains their fire-staves and torches used in the dance
- Assist the Master Fire Tender at ceremonies.
- Teach the lower ranked Fire Keepers about the ceremonial value of the Great Fire.
- May accompany Hunters (or go alone) to acquire oils and other burning liquids for torches and fire-staves
- Generally help gather firewood, and prepare the fire for ceremonies.

Oceane Aston lupus fire dancing, by Kiri

Master rank

Etikaiele Gata

One character
Translation: Ceremonial Fire Master

The only member of the Tribe allowed to tend all aspects of the Great Fire. To become the Etikaiele Gata, one must first hold the titles of Gata Hineyu and Otlvna Gata.

Main tasks
- Rekindling the Great Fire should it ever go out (which should never happen), and during ceremonies with the blessing of the Master Priest.
- In charge of keeping and maintaining the sacred relics of the tribe (Master's items).
- In charge of teaching the lower ranked fire tenders of the tribe about the ceremonial and practical aspects of the Great Fire.
- Presides over the spiritual/ceremonial aspects concerning the Great Fire.
- Main teacher of the Fire Tenders' dance.

Mark and relic

Characters who reach the Master rank also receive a master's brand in the form of a dyed or tattooed color pattern either on their chest, face or an arm (or similarly visible place), as well as a relic, to symbolize clearly their ranking and powerful position in the pack hierarchy. In the case that there are more than one master in a profession, the most prominent one keeps the mark and relic, and the rank can be challenge for.

Mark: The eternal flame of the Great Fire.

Its color symbolizes many things:

  • Passion, energy and heat: for the emotions the Great Fire stir in all, and how the Fire Tenders are their representatives in many ways
  • Danger and blood: for the risks involved in caring for and dancing with fire, which is beautiful yet lethal
  • Intensity: for the spiritual dedication of Fire Tenders
  • Love: for their love to the tribe, shining from the Great Fire
  • Strength: for the Great Fire as a symbol of the tribe's eternal perseverance with fire at their side
Relic: The relic of the Etikaiele Gata is an specially crafted satchel, constructed with many layers of incredibly hardened leather, and able to sustain most anything. Its purpose if that of transporting embers, and it is the oldest of the relics of all the Masters. Used in every ceremony to contain embers while the Great Fire is extinguished and re-kindled with embers, it is a key relic for the Fire profession path, and simply invaluable. Its outermost layer is ornamented with colorful stitches, and hanging leather straps and feathers.
Last updated on Sun, 14 Oct 2012 at 07:26 PM by Marit