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Conreligion: Ēmandē – Basic Overview

Ēmandē, rarely also Ēmindē, (SB [ˈɛːmɑndɛ] / [ˈɛːmindɛ], TS [ɛːˈmɑndɛ]) is a Baranxe’i term for the religious beliefs and practices native to the Baranxtumi people, and by extension those of other Marchers and Meleiyans, as well. Its literal translation is ‘the worship’, connected to the verb ēmanða/ēminðaworship, revere, show respect’; a term to denote other religions is ēmanðīr . The PA root is *ēmń̩.

The actual religious beliefs and practices of the Baranxtumi people show high regional and sectarian variation, although they remain connected in their basic deities, myths and morality.

The first subgroup is the Ēmandē Sauba (organized worship, shortened also the Saubu) formerly a kind of state religion and in modern Baranxtu still the most publically prominent form. It is a highly hierarchic structure and owns and runs most temples and shrines in urban Baranxtu; it is led by a triad formed by the High Priest of Baranxi (always a man), the High Priestess of Maña (always a woman) and the High Priest of Mēlēija (varies), who are elected for life. Other countries with Emandean religions have similar institutions, although the primary deities can and do differ.
The Saubu has always been closely tied to the state, and less directly to its people; its function was to ensure the well-being of the state by paying hommage to the gods and carrying out their rituals. Especially in the cities, however, it has also been adopted as the primary religion practiced by the wealthy and the nobility.
The Saubu also had a hand in establishing and maintaining schools of higher learning, although secular universities have existed side-by-side with these. Furthermore, the Saubu also maintains the Temple Speech (Źutarġauz), the highly and artifically archaic Baranxe’i lect used to recite hymns, prayers and to read the myths in ceremonies.
These myths are recording in the Ēmandēja, the scriptures, and represent a standardised collection of the rather more divergent local myths.

In most religious Baranxtumis’ daily life, the Ēmandē Rauvēntu (farmer’s worship, or shortened the Rauvu, the soil) is much more important. It is the folk religion of the common people, and although it shares its gods and myths and concepts with the Saubu, it also differs significantly from it.
Unlike the Saubu, the Rauvu is not formally organised, and doesn’t truly recognise priests and priestesses, although villages usually had a family taking over religious leadership duties. Some of these families also keep contact with each otherThe Rauvu is closely entwined with Baranxtumi folk medicine, costumary law and mysticism.
It relies heavily on oral transmission, although some subtraditions keep their own sacred writings. Others, especially in mid-sized towns, have adopted the Saubu’s scriptures, but added their own myths.
The Rauvu keeps some rituals alive that have long been abandoned by the Saubu; the most prominent examples of these is the Sacred Dance (referred to in SB as Āraþ Śāŋu and in TS as Ś-Āraþ, but its local names are manifold).
The full name Ēmandē Rauvēntu is used primarily by members of the Saubu, particularly the clergy, and is negatively connotated. Rauvu, on the other hand, emerged as a self-designation among Rauvunīja, who use it to emphasise that their religion is natural and egalitarian, and not as artificial and hierarchic as the Saubu.

Finally, there are the Ān-Śanixa Ēmandētu (new branches of Ēmandē, shortened also to Śanixa, splittings), which could be called sects. They are splinter groups and religious movements that sprang up after Baranxtu became an independent country and usually have an identifiable founder and even a definitive founding date.
Most of them were short lived and usually dissipated after the death of their founder (or one or two generations later), with few having a lingering effect.

These subdivisions follow Saubu terminology, and as such are not always accepted by some Rauvu practitioners or Śanixa followers.
In particular, Śanixa movements which see themselves as the sole legitimate religion would classify Saubu as heretics. Less extreme Śanixa  may still prefer to see themselves as part of the Rauvu, and indeed, some traditions within the Rauvu would be classified as Śanixa if it weren’t for their age, predating the formal establishment of the Saubu.
In general, relations between the Saubu and the Rauvu have been neutral to antagonistic, but rarely hostile. There have been periods where the Saubu was heavily promoted over the Rauvu in an attempt to combat regionalism, or to enforce spiritual purity (the former attempts were usually spearheaded by Baranxtuan monarchs, the latter by particularly powerful Saubu triads), but overall, the two have largely existed side-by-side. Nevertheless, urban Saubu followers often see the Rauvu as a rural, backwards collection of superstitions and tainted, bastardised myths, and many Rauvu followers see the Saubu as the religion of arrogant elitists.
The relation between the Saubu and the Śanixa have usually been much more hostile, with the Saubu spending a lot of money and manpower on eradicated Śanixa movements. This sometimes included violent actions, either through incitation of the common people against Śanixa followers, through the hiring of mercenaries to eradicate the groups, or at times even state-backed military actions.
The relations between the Rauvu and the Śanixa have been much more mixed, and generally depended highly on the nature of a particular Śanixa movement. Those that claimed supremacy were met with hostility, whereas others which arose as a form of organised Rauvu, for example, faced much less Rauvu resistance, and sometimes were and are practiced syncretically.


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