House of Haleth - Tools and Props

Odola

Active Member
So, I figured I would jump in here with some clarifications about the story. After all - as has been stated above, first things first.

The Haladin first appear in our story in S05E03, before the birth of Haleth. By this point, they have already established their own family homesteads in Thargelion. They are settled and nonmigratory. They have small farms, each supporting an individual household.

Over the course of S05E04 their social structure becomes more cohesive when they build a hall and stockade for protection. When an Orc attack kills much of the male population, they pack up and head for a new home. This is a short-term migration that takes only a year or two. They do not become a nomadic culture during this time, as this is a temporary state for them.

By the end of S05E06, they have found a new home in Brethil, but they do not return to the nuclear homesteads of the previous generations. Some might, of course, but most of them adopt a more communal lifestyle, not unlike the Aztec calpulli. They hunt together, grind grain together, and feast together. They still work no metal of their own, and remain illiterate.

So, what does this mean for this discussion so far?

At no point in our story are the Haladin culturally nomadic or a hunter-gatherer society. They might carry their grindstones with them on the journey to Brethil, but that seems unnecessary weight for the easier part of a quern to source on the other end of their journey. It's the quern stone itself that is a tough find.
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It's important to remember that we should not be able to recognize a particular real-world culture as the basis for one of those in our show. There are historical (and even modern) cultures that have elements we could and should use.
Not recognisable e.g. in their specific distinct ornamental patterns. But still their material culture should make sense. So it is good to orient oneself on existing ones. If their have linen cloth that means that either they have to grow flax - and it is time consuming (and very stinky, as it involves retting and a huge amount of water pollution) to process it - or they have to trade for it - with whom? Elves? What would they trade for it? Wool is easier, and warmer, but still some pasture and shepherds are needed.
Here a grinding stone from that time - it must be a hard stone to work: http://teatrnn.pl/lexicon/articles/stone-grinder-of-the-funnel-beaker-culture/

From all the verge of Neolithic/Bronze age cultures of Europe I am aware of this one seems to check the most boxes. So could be a good reference point of what is feasible.

Here a short video about the culture in an author's background introduction to his own book - but short, understandable and stating the main points:
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Not recognisable e.g. in their specific distinct ornamental patterns. But still their material culture should make sense. So it is good to orient oneself on existing ones. If their have linen cloth that means that either they have to grow flax - and it is time consuming (and very stinky, as it involves retting and a huge amount of water pollution) to process it - or they have to trade for it - with whom? Elves? What would they trade for it? Wool is easier, and warmer, but still some pasture and shepherds are needed.
Here a grinding stone from that time - it must be a hard stone to work: http://teatrnn.pl/lexicon/articles/stone-grinder-of-the-funnel-beaker-culture/

From all the verge of Neolithic/Bronze age cultures of Europe I am aware of this one seems to check the most boxes. So could be a good reference point of what is feasible.

Here a short video about the culture in an author's background introduction to his own book - but short, understandable and stating the main points:
The Funnel-beaker culture is indeed fascinating. We can also look to cultures outside Europe for inspiration.

It is certainly more challenging to make a culture from scratch rather than simply borrowing from an existing one, but that is the task at hand. The Hosts have asked that the cultures we create not be based on specific historical cultures.

As to the question of clothing: it probably depends. Before the migration, it is possible that some of the farmers grow flax, and some keep sheep. These goods could be circulated through internal trade, while many of the Haladin wear clothes made from skins. We have established a history of trade with the dwarves, so they might also have obtained some cloth from them (which might have in turn come from the Elves), from the Avari whose lands their ancestors passed through, and from Elves in Beleriand.

With the dwarves, trade is easier: foodstuffs, pelts, skins, wooden goods. Things the dwarves cannot obtain easily without leaving their halls. The Elves have less trouble procuring the goods the Haladin are capable of producing, having their own farm, livestock, and hunting industries, but one gets the sense they are more willing to engage in trades that are more advantageous to their trading partners.

Once the Haladin settle in Brethil, their culture becomes more ... focused. We might see less cloth production there, as their hunting of large game in organized hunting parties provides them larger amounts of hide to use (like we see in pre-columbian tribes in North America). Farming would be able to concentrate on the production of food.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Fair enough.But even when we meet the Haladin in Thargelion, it is a relatively fresh settlement, they have not been there for a long time, their wandering days as nomads from the east are really just shortly behind them, even if they had lived a short period in Eriador before.

@Odola

Well, i like the Funnel bead houses a lot and i agree they seem to be similar to our Haladin.

Elves knew herding, and farming, cheese and bread and beer and wine , it is not central but mentioned on occasion or appears in the elvish wordlist, which are fascinating for many details on elven culture.There is no indication for linen or flax as far as i know, but for grasses and plant fibres and interestingly cotton.Elves seem to have been fond of Sheep especially, i recall little on goats.
 
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Odola

Active Member
The Funnel-beaker culture is indeed fascinating.
Would not necessary say so.
A very basic one imho. ;-)
They have left nice graves though - seemed to deify their male leaders a lot.

As to the question of clothing: it probably depends. Before the migration, it is possible that some of the farmers grow flax, and some keep sheep. These goods could be circulated through internal trade, while many of the Haladin wear clothes made from skins. We have established a history of trade with the dwarves, so they might also have obtained some cloth from them (which might have in turn come from the Elves), from the Avari whose lands their ancestors passed through, and from Elves in Beleriand.

With the dwarves, trade is easier: foodstuffs, pelts, skins, wooden goods. Things the dwarves cannot obtain easily without leaving their halls. The Elves have less trouble procuring the goods the Haladin are capable of producing, having their own farm, livestock, and hunting industries, but one gets the sense they are more willing to engage in trades that are more advantageous to their trading partners.

Once the Haladin settle in Brethil, their culture becomes more ... focused. We might see less cloth production there, as their hunting of large game in organized hunting parties provides them larger amounts of hide to use (like we see in pre-columbian tribes in North America). Farming would be able to concentrate on the production of food.
There is no record of an once neoliticized people going back to hunter - gatherer completely - at least not in the Old World (farmers can change to pastoralists at need, but never revert back to a hunter-gatherer livestyle).
How undisturbed is their enviroment? Is the population of game stable, replenishing and not disturbed by war and roamimg monsters?

And what about fowl? Fowl orginated in India but arrived in Europe very early- it provides eggs and meat and pest control. It is relatively easy to keep and serves also a warning function (famously the geese). Those are easy to carry and to keep.

If there were something "human" they could trade I would think of salt cooked out of salty spings, pigments/dyes and glues/wood tar/tree sap would be something. I do not think elves are great chemists, as chemistry involves "breaking a thing to understand it" . The production process is also often smelly, tedious, and not at all artistic, or it involves hurting a tree. I also think humans as the "Children of the Sun" have are more intimate relationship with colours than elves who value the nightly shades visible under the stars like gray, silver and white. So I assume inventing and producing dyes would be a human thing the elves would appreciate for their paintings. So this would be something humans could produce and trade.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
There is no record of an once neoliticized people going back to hunter - gatherer completely - at least not in the Old World (farmers can change to pastoralists at need, but never revert back to a hunter-gatherer livestyle).
How undisturbed is their enviroment? Is the population of game stable, replenishing and not disturbed by war and roamimg monsters?
Right, so our Brethil-Haladin with the farming and grain-grinding we've depicted are at no point a permanent hunter-gatherer culture. The nearest they come is during the short period of their migration from Thargelion to Brethil.

The environment in Brethil is fairly stable until the Dagor Bragollach. No one else lives there, and they rid the forest of wandering monsters in S05E06.
 

Halstein

Active Member
Reading whats been written above, a couple of point to consider. Besides fields growing crops, there should be vegetable gardens. Lentils, beans, peas and carrots are some the likely produce. Peas can be dried, so they last long. Some herbs can also be grown. The vegetable gardens ought to be fenced in in some way, to keep livestock out. Flax might also be grown, both for the seeds, and for linen.

We should also consider how the fields for grain are organised. Small fenced plots, like vegetable gardens, or larger fields. If the fields are not fenced, herding is very necessary to keep livestock from eating the crop. Do they practice slash and burn agriculture. The Finnish style of slash and burn worked as follows (Ents might stop reading now): Year one you chop down the trees in the area. In the spring of year two you burn the field, and when it is cooled enough you sow rye. Then let your animals feed on the tufts. The third year the tufts will also grow tall grain-bearing stalks. You can continue to use the field for some years there after, but freshly burned fields gives the best yield.
 

Odola

Active Member
Reading whats been written above, a couple of point to consider. Besides fields growing crops, there should be vegetable gardens. Lentils, beans, peas and carrots are some the likely produce. Peas can be dried, so they last long. Some herbs can also be grown. The vegetable gardens ought to be fenced in in some way, to keep livestock out. Flax might also be grown, both for the seeds, and for linen.

We should also consider how the fields for grain are organised. Small fenced plots, like vegetable gardens, or larger fields. If the fields are not fenced, herding is very necessary to keep livestock from eating the crop. Do they practice slash and burn agriculture. The Finnish style of slash and burn worked as follows (Ents might stop reading now): Year one you chop down the trees in the area. In the spring of year two you burn the field, and when it is cooled enough you sow rye. Then let your animals feed on the tufts. The third year the tufts will also grow tall grain-bearing stalks. You can continue to use the field for some years there after, but freshly burned fields gives the best yield.
I think that has to do as otherwise one has a quite fast deforestation of the complete area. Herding would mostly take place in the meadows of river valleys to moist to cultivate. Sheep cannot be held alone, they need a herd to be comfortable. Goats can. Some kinds of goats do have a spin-able undercoat which can be turned into fine fibres too.
Edit: simple fencing ideas from a reconstructed statement http://osadakopiec.pl/galeria/

Another question, how about drums? Humans shoud have them, even if they are mostly associared with orcs in LOTR. The Near Eastern Darbouka/Darbuka clay drum arrived at that time in Europe.
Do elves have drums at all?
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
O! Which ones? Chicken? Ducks? Geese? Peacocks? Did they keep pigeons? How about falconry?
Barn fowl.They certainly knew ducks and geese, but it is unknown if only wild or domesticated (or can there be something in-between wild and domesticated? ) pigeons i could not find a word for in any elven language, falcon, unclear.Nonexistence of words though does not prove anything else but Tolkien not thinking about it.

Yes, they know drums, gongs, cymbals and tambourines..
 
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Odola

Active Member
Barn fowl.They certainly knew ducks and geese, but it is unknown if only wild or domesticated (or can there be something in-between wild and domesticated? ) pigeons i could not find a word for in any elven language, falcon, unclear.Nonexistence of words though does not prove anything else but Tolkien not thinking about it.
But they have a word for dove. Again unsure if domesticated it not.
At any rate chicken can only exist as domesticated in Europe, it is not their natural habitat and they do not get feral so they can only live here when kept - in the long run.

Yes, they know drums, gongs, cymbals and tambourines..
But do elves use drums themselves? I understand they need a word to describe orkish signals. The Jackson movies made the elves melodious without much rythm. If we keep this patterns the human use of drums might be anything elves feel puzzled by and maybe slighlty uncomfortable with, as a marker of the brokeness with orcs nad men share. The rythmic aspect of human music also expresses their completely different relationship with time, which for humans is a most valuable resource which must be carefully measured and not wasted. So humans would have some time measuring devices like e.g reciting a poem or singing a song in a fixed time several times to measure time needed e.g. for cooking something or counting steps to find their way at night which elves would find simply hilarious.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
How about weapons? Haleth’s main weapon is a spear, but what about the head? What materials; is it merely a sharpened stick? Is it flint? If metal, bronze or iron?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
How about weapons? Haleth’s main weapon is a spear, but what about the head? What materials; is it merely a sharpened stick? Is it flint? If metal, bronze or iron?
We've talked about it being an item acquired by trade with the dwarves. We've been thinking that bronze might be a metal the Haladin might prefer, being one they can repair even with their limited metallurgical knowledge.
 

Odola

Active Member
How about weapons? Haleth’s main weapon is a spear, but what about the head? What materials; is it merely a sharpened stick? Is it flint? If metal, bronze or iron?
Is the spear a heirloom? A sharpened stick would do, but it could been made of some special durable wood which is hard to come by. Or it could have a point made of antler or bone or a claw or a tooth of one of those killed monsters mentioned above.
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Alapumba and tompo are early quenya words for drum and small drum.hard to say if elves played these themselves or if it was only a term for orc signals.Drums are only associated with orcs and druedain (and dwarves) in the books, i still find it possible they knew and played drums themselves, but who knows.Tontl or Tontilla is a cymbal/tambourine, at last i don't see orcs playing that... these are associated with the israelites in the bible and the old greek.

A sharpened stick for a spear... i don't know, you use that as necessity weapon if theres really NOTHING else around, but i don't really see any body kill a Tevildo by just it, some sort of dwarven spearhead or perhaps even obsidian i would prefer. Spears are usually quite thick... how long is it? Ash was common, oak or hazel could be thinkable, olive tree is possibly the wrong geographic region..
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Is the spear a heirloom? A sharpened stick would do, but it could been made of some special durable wood which is hard to come by. Or it could have a point made of antler or bone or a claw or a tooth of one of those killed monsters mentioned above.
The spear is indeed an heirloom, acquired by trade. It is first introduced in S05E04, and appears again in S05E05, S05E06, S05E08, and S05E10.
 

Odola

Active Member
The spear is indeed an heirloom, acquired by trade. It is first introduced in S05E04, and appears again in S05E05, S05E06, S05E08, and S05E10.
If so then flint would be most probable. Obsidian or rock cristal are not so durable, sharp at first but break very easily. Could be some special kind of flint though. Like chocolate flint or striped/banded flint. The latter is very decorative.

Or chalcedony:
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
If so then flint would be most probable. Obsidian or rock cristal are not so durable, sharp at first but break very easily. Could be some special kind of flint though. Like chocolate flint or striped/banded flint. The latter is very decorative.

Or chalcedony:
If it were something the proto-Haladin made, sure. But since it is not, we're not limited to the materials they can manufacture.
 
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