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Gloranthan Dietary Restrictions

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We know rune levels for certain cults have dietary restrictions and requirements, and Humakti and Yelmalian geases can also impose restrictions, but what are the wider dietary restrictions/cultural taboo foods in Glorantha? What foods do the various cultures consider "unclean?"

For example, I'm pretty sure Orlanthi don't eat goat and likely don't eat cat. They'd probably get queasy at the idea of eating bugs, including ham beetles and other insect livestock raised by the trolls, though freshwater crawfish and probably okay.

Praxians don't eat horse. Balazarings probably don't eat dog. The Pure Horse People don't eat cow, right?

Do Odayalings eat bear like the Ainu or Sami or forbid it?

Any other examples come to mind?

 

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Beyond dietary restrictions, I also wonder which cultures would enjoy each other's food and which would find certain foods "gross."

In my Glorantha, Pelorians garnish their meals with a lot of garum and cilantro. Because of a Godtime curse, Orlanthi think cilantro tastes vile (based on the RW genetic predisposition to like or hate cilantro) and think garum is stinky and disgusting. Because it's garum. So they even hate the taste of the Lunars' food and the way their breath smells.

On the other hand, Orlanthi drink a lot of milk and eat a lot of milk products, which probably turns off the Dara Happans, who are lactose intolerant.

Would Sartarites eat normal duck? Or refrain out of respect for their neighbors? Lismelder Tribe especially might have a taboo against eating duck.

Rightarm Islanders eat a lot of ceviche, sashimi, etc. I bet Praxians and Grazelanders both hate the taste of fish, especially raw.

Kitori probably have no issue eating bugs. Ham beetle is a reliable source of protein, but most human cultures wouldn't eat them unless they were desperate.

Pelorians are probably the most enthusiastic about eating the foods of other cultures. In Glamour, I imagine there are Kralorelean, Pentish, Esrolian, and even "Sartarite" restaurants (mostly actually Aggari and Tarshite run). "We are all delicious!"

Kitori, like the troll allies, are probably willing to eat almost anything. Including long pork.

 

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4 hours ago, RHW said:

I'm pretty sure Orlanthi don't eat goat

Depends on which Orlanthi. Those in Imther, for instance, do not have taboos/restrictions about goats since they absorbed goat-herding cultures without such stigmas early on.

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I could imagine that the Loskalmi have dietary restrictions based on allegorical understandings of animal behaviors as they pertain to virtues. This was a popular interpretation of the Hebrew dietary laws in the Middle Ages. Eating rabbit was unclean because they embodied the sin of promiscuity, for example. Insects crawled on the ground and so emobodied uncleanliness. Crawling sea animals emobodied, allegorically, sloth, while fish were active movers and thus fine to eat.

Loskalmi, with their complicated relationship to the material world (not entirely rejecting it as bad, but looking inward to maintain discipline and self-control in order to not be corrupted by it), strike me as the kind of folks who could apply this kind of worldview to food.

Lactose tolerance is an interesting point worth considering. I'm calling it here: the Orlanthi religion contains a way of giving converts lactose tolerance, because what kind of Orlanthi are you if you're not herding some kind of herd mammal and drinking their milk like there's no tomorrow? Not a proper one, I say! Eirithia/Uralda/Whoever will set your guts straight!

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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7 hours ago, RHW said:

We know rune levels for certain cults have dietary restrictions and requirements, and Humakti and Yelmalian geases can also impose restrictions, but what are the wider dietary restrictions/cultural taboo foods in Glorantha? What foods do the various cultures consider "unclean?"

For example, I'm pretty sure Orlanthi don't eat goat and likely don't eat cat. They'd probably get queasy at the idea of eating bugs, including ham beetles and other insect livestock raised by the trolls, though freshwater crawfish and probably okay.

Praxians don't eat horse. Balazarings probably don't eat dog. The Pure Horse People don't eat cow, right?

Do Odayalings eat bear like the Ainu or Sami or forbid it?

Any other examples come to mind?

 

The Heortling Orlanthi (ie., those that come from Kethaela) have dietary restrictions around goat and cat. They eat beetles, shellfish, fish, snails, and you name it. Yinkin forbids cat eating, Odayla does not forbid bear-eating.

The Praxian, as you mentioned, don't eat horse. The Pure Horse People don't eat cow. 

Lower class Pelorians will eat anything. Upper class Dara Happans consider many food types impure: invertebrates (tainted by Darkness), dog (same reason), many types of salt-water fish (note that they don't have access to salt-water), and probably a long list of other things as long as my arm. And during the Fourth Wane, all of that got ignored and everyone in Peloria ended up eating dirt (the lowest of low insults).

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A bit backwards, but, in my Pavis, Old City residents are famed for being willing to eat ANYTHING.

And in my history, there's an incident where, when the newly subjugated Pavisites hosted a banquet for the Lunar generals, there were nearly mass executions because they proudly served a roasted dog to the Imperials.

 

I also recall some 10 year old post about how milk drinking is typical for Heortlings and nearly unheard of among Pelorians, and that this feeds into Pelorian stereotypes about the barbarians being "dirty" because people who drink milk (for real) develop a different body odor than those who don't.

Edited by Different Games

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Ar there any broad cultures, or castes/classes that tend towards vegetarianism? I'm not necessarily talking about a Pelorian peasant whose diet is 90% rice, but more in terms of ideology.

Another tangential question - are there widespread beliefs in any area that certain classes should not touch dead animals (with the possible exception of them as prepared food) or people, or be in places where people have died?

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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14 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Ar there any broad cultures, or castes/classes that tend towards vegetarianism? I'm not necessarily talking about a Pelorian peasant whose diet is 90% rice, but more in terms of ideology.

Chalana Arroy cultists

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28 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Ar there any broad cultures, or castes/classes that tend towards vegetarianism? I'm not necessarily talking about a Pelorian peasant whose diet is 90% rice, but more in terms of ideology.

 

Aldryami

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2 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Figures they'd be into cannibalism.

It would be cannibalism if they ate other man rune mobile plants. An aldryami eating leaves from a shrub is no different from an Orlanthi drinking milk or eating fish.

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38 minutes ago, Joerg said:

It would be cannibalism if they ate other man rune mobile plants. An aldryami eating leaves from a shrub is no different from an Orlanthi drinking milk or eating fish.

I was just making a little quip.

That being said, however, in my Glorantha, the Aldryami definitely do not have any qualms about eating the dead remains of a fellow man-rune plant, or ground them up for fertilizer. I don't see them as harboring the same kind of individualized sentimentality as many human cultures have. But we've spoken about this before in the Aldryami thread a few weeks ago.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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11 hours ago, Jeff said:

The Heortling Orlanthi... eat beetles, shellfish, fish, snails, and you name it.

I'm skeptical the Heortlings would eat snails. Never know when one of those little bastards might breath fire on you or explode on death. It happened to my grangranpa's cousin Hrothgar! Or so I'm told.

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4 hours ago, Different Games said:

And in my history, there's an incident where, when the newly subjugated Pavisites hosted a banquet for the Lunar generals, there were nearly mass executions because they proudly served a roasted dog to the Imperials.

Interesting - in the meanwhile, there seems to be something of an industry in providing the Red Emperor with maximally exotic foodstuff for his parties.

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5 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Ar there any broad cultures, or castes/classes that tend towards vegetarianism? I'm not necessarily talking about a Pelorian peasant whose diet is 90% rice, but more in terms of ideology.

Another tangential question - are there widespread beliefs in any area that certain classes should not touch dead animals (with the possible exception of them as prepared food) or people, or be in places where people have died?

I suspect Rokari and traditional Zzubari Dronar aren't supposed to eat meat. That's reserved for the Horali and Ruler caste. And of course the Mari Mountain Mostali practice the heresy of Vegetarianism. I bet a lot of Malkioni wizards practice Vegetarianism as well. 

Likewise, I bet the Wizard and Ruler classes don't touch dead animals or people, or if they do, have to ritually purify themselves afterward.

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17 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Lactose tolerance is an interesting point worth considering. I'm calling it here: the Orlanthi religion contains a way of giving converts lactose tolerance, because what kind of Orlanthi are you if you're not herding some kind of herd mammal and drinking their milk like there's no tomorrow? Not a proper one, I say! Eirithia/Uralda/Whoever will set your guts straight!

Lactose intolerance is potentially an issue for many of the hunter-gatherer cultures of Glorantha including the Men-and-a-Half of Prax and Pamaltela (strictly hunter-gatherers? Or do they have herds like the Maasai?), the Telmori, the Rathori, Bolo Lizard and Ostrich Riders, and the Basmoli.  

This also might be an issue for Rightarm Islanders, the Sofali, and other coastal fishing populations. The Vormaini and other East Islanders probably don't consume much milk.

I doubt the Dara Happans keep a lot of cows, given that their land is so swampy. In my Glorantha, they definitely think milk and cheese are gross.

This can be a serious problem when cultures interact. Infamously, lactose intolerance among the Native Americans may have triggered the raids which destroyed the Viking Vinland colony. As someone else pointed out, milk consumers also smell weird and sour to peoples who don't eat cheese or drink milk.

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It should also be noted that genetic lactose intolerance isn't necessarily an obstacle to keeping cattle and making dairy products. Most people on the Indian Subcontinent are lactose intolerant, for example, but they still consume a large amount of dairy products. Some of these, like ghee, are naturally lactose reduced. I didn't see a whole lot of actual milk-drinking while I was there - mostly cheeses and butter.

Edited by Sir_Godspeed
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16 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

It should also be noted that genetic lactose intolerance isn't necessarily an obstacle to keeping cattle and making dairy products. Most people on the Indian Subcontinent are lactose intolerant, for example, but they still consume a large amount of lactose products. Some of these, like ghee, are naturally lactose reduced. I didn't see a whole lot of actual milk-drinking while I was there - mostly cheeses and butter.

Since in another thread we are assured that Gloranthan herd beasts are not identical with their RW counterparts, can't we assume that humans are likewise different, and not naturally lactose intolerant?

Come to think of it, does Gloranthan cow milk contain lactose?

When you start down the 'non-identical' track, there is no logical stopping point.

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3 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Since in another thread we are assured that Gloranthan herd beasts are not identical with their RW counterparts, can't we assume that humans are likewise different, and not naturally lactose intolerant?

Come to think of it, does Gloranthan cow milk contain lactose?

When you start down the 'non-identical' track, there is no logical stopping point.

That's why I don't love going too far in that direction. Yes, Glorantha is not Earth, but I prefer to think of milk as milk, and the human digestive system as functionally the same, even if food allergies are caused by Godtime curses instead of biology. I mean, maybe lactose intolerance comes from your god's failed battle against the Herd Mother, or maybe everyone starts as lactose intolerant, but you gain tolerance from a mythic relationship with herd animals. Functionally, though, it works the same way there as here. 

Ditto food poisoning, waterborne illnesses, malnutrition, starvation, etc. Cows eat mostly the same stuff. So do people, mostly. The vast majority of fish live in water, almost all birds hatch from eggs, etc.

And on a larger issue, gravity, wind resistance, asphyxiation, etc. all have magical justifications in Glorantha, but they work pretty much the same way there as on Earth.

YGMV.

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14 minutes ago, Ali the Helering said:

Since in another thread we are assured that Gloranthan herd beasts are not identical with their RW counterparts, can't we assume that humans are likewise different, and not naturally lactose intolerant?

Come to think of it, does Gloranthan cow milk contain lactose?

When you start down the 'non-identical' track, there is no logical stopping point.

I wouldn't use the term "naturally" here, necessarily, since I don't see the lactase-preservation mutation as being "unnatural", just more recent.

But that aside, you make a good point. I think @RHW  puts it fairly well.

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It just occurred to me... Do noblewomen in Pavis or Sun County use herdwoman wetnurses? Do Morokanths make herdwoman cheese? If so, would other people eat it? 

Praxians have no issue eating herdman, right? What about non-Praxians? I can imagine herdman being served at a Lunar noble's party for a bit of fun. I can also imagine secret ogres selling real human meat as herdman and perhaps even creating more ogres this way.

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16 minutes ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

I wouldn't use the term "naturally" here, necessarily, since I don't see the lactase-preservation mutation as being "unnatural", just more recent.

But that aside, you make a good point. I think @RHW  puts it fairly well.

Yeah, this was just an opportunity for me to moan, really.  I think that making these RW/Gloranthan differentiations don't help anyone.

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17 hours ago, RHW said:

I suspect Rokari and traditional Zzubari Dronar aren't supposed to eat meat. That's reserved for the Horali and Ruler caste.

They aren't expected to eat certain kinds of meat, as per the Guide p.52:

Quote

For  the  Workers,  food  is  modest  in  nature, except  on  feast  days,  when  all  manner  of dishes are brought forth.

...

Lamb,  goat,  and  chicken  are  the  most common meat for the Workers. Fish is a staple along the Tanier River and in the coastal areas.

...

beef is a prerogative of the higher castes.

So, your wealthy dronar cast burgher may very well have access to meats you would usually think of as reserved for other castes.

(Which begs the question who owns the draught beasts, and what happens when one of those beasts dies from overworking or sickness.)

But then, there might be restrictions to how the meats are prepared.

 

17 hours ago, RHW said:

And of course the Mari Mountain Mostali practice the heresy of Vegetarianism.

Which means that they also do eat vegetables in recognizable form, rather than only in suitably processed form. Elder Secrets had a dwarf recipe which included plant matter in its list, and which was criticized only for its rather high gold content which might have furthered unnecessary individual thought. It doesn't mean that they don't eat the usual processed stuff dished out to orthodox mostali.

17 hours ago, RHW said:

I bet a lot of Malkioni wizards practice Vegetarianism as well. 

I take that to mean vegetarianism in the modern real world sense, since the Mostali heresy doesn't make sense for humans whose ability to process mineral food is mostly limited to salt.

While I do think that both fasting and ritual consumption of certain foods are part of ritual preparations for magic, I don't quite see the "eat no meat" as a necessary part of that. I can imagine that there are a number of Seshnegi and Carmanian magics which would be greatly helped by the ingestion of lion meat.

17 hours ago, RHW said:

Likewise, I bet the Wizard and Ruler classes don't touch dead animals or people, or if they do, have to ritually purify themselves afterward.

Isn't Resurrection a rather hands-on magic? That makes the taboo for wizards at least a mite problematic. Subsequent purification makes lots of sense, but that didn't stop surgeons going from the section table to cut open women in complicated births without washing their hands for a few centuries... Still, the Gloranthan mindset would probably have prevented that specific horror.

The talar caste includes a vast number of body servants for the highest ranking talars, if I interprete the frieze that was presented as an example how art direction turned into art correctly: https://www.glorantha.com/docs/seshnela-art-direction/

If that is the case, then dealing directly with the dead body of a talar caste member should be restricted to talar caste servants. Dronar caste workers might still be required to do the heavy lifting etc.

 

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