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The people who inhabited the Dal Hon Plains and the Forest Horn jungle were known as the Dal Honese.[1] They were made up of various tribes and described as onyx-skinned. Those from the northern savannah tended to be taller and more willowy than those from the southern jungle.

Notable Dal Honese[]

History[]

The Dal Hon league of kingdoms had once been a separate entity from the Malazan Empire two generations before the events of Gardens of the Moon. But the Dal Hon reliance on individual talented warriors was no match for the coordinated, disciplined tactics of the Malazans. Before then, the only nation able to successfully war against them was Itko Kan. The Dal Hon attributed their failures against the Malazans to poor generalship.[9][10]

Society[]

Dal Honese adults had the right to take the path of wandering, a custom by which men and women left their tribes behind to explore the world. Parents were free to leave their children behind in the care of their extended kin, Shamans, and shoulder-witches. Although leave takers could be gone for many years, they usually returned eventually. After the Malazan Empire conquered Dal Hon, the once rare custom became observed much more frequently and by adults of younger age. As a result, fewer children were born and mixed-race children increased as a percentage of the population as wanderers returned with foreign husbands or wives. Dal Honese culture became suffused with new ways.[11]

The four sacred weapons of the Dal Hon tribes were bola, kout, hook-scythe and rock.[12] Another traditional weapon was the Vethbela, or "Bonekisser", prized for its ability to leave opponents' bones unmarked when collected as trophies.[13]

A warrior who sought the heart of a woman would collect the femur bones of his enemies, polish them, and carve them with scenes of his glorious death. Many such bones would placed before the threshold of her family's hut as proof of the suitor's prowess and courage.[13]

When a Dal Honese warrior thought they were going to die in battle, they decorated themselves in a death-mask of ash. Then they danced in tight circles while singing a death dirge — a strange monotonous nasal groaning sound. Those who interrupted such a ritual risked a lifetime of curses stretching down their bloodline.[14]

The Dal Honese drank the milk of cow's and the blood of bulls.[15] Baked gourds and fillets of snake were considered a delicacy.[16]

Dal Honese horses were faintly striped crossbreeds sharing genetic heritage with the zebras of the Dal Hon Plains. Such horses were barely tamed, likely to buck and bite, and some saw an evil intelligence in their red-rimmed eyes.[17]

Gods and Goddesses[]

The Dal Honese worshipped a menagerie of deities. Amongst them:

Dal Honese Expressions[]

"I'll show you the inside of the Cobra God's nose" - probably north Dal Honese[22]

"Amen and a spit in the eye t'that" - "Amen and a spit in the eye back"[22]

Notes and references[]

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