Iromakuanhe culture is a unique and varied melting pot of unique adaptations and ancient traditions to environment, creating a rich foundation upon which their society is built. Traditionalist nomad groups on both land and in the skies, as well as small communities and isolated enclaves serve as the wellsprings that feed into a melting pot of rapidly changing metropolitan culture. Modernist thinking encourages change in society as long as traditions are preserved and the roots of their culture are not forgotten.
As a whole, the Iromakuanhe people are tolerant and open minded, but as newcomers to the galactic scene, may find themselves constantly alternating between naive curiosity and uncertain caution in their dealings. Their culture of enlightenment and understanding however, encourages them to rise over petty stereotypes and bad first impressions, and in general, will almost always attempt to seek some kind of clarity on any given race or culture. While refreshing, this may be a nuisance to individuals who are genuinely as they appear at a first glance, or have their own biases against foreigners.
Life in the inner worlds of the Iromakuanhe Astral Commonwealth has been relatively peaceful, under the spiritually unified mosaic of the The Dreamer Vigil and the strong, but caring rule of the Commonwealth government. Outer system colonies have, however, been plagued by a series of civil conflicts requiring the intervention of the Astral Vanguard, and bandit activity on the fringes has been on the rise as 2nd Space Age technologies become increasing commonplace. The current era is prosperous, but suffering from a stagnation which has prompted many to seek new lives out in the stars.
See: Iromakuanhe History
For more information, see Iromakuanhe Government.
Many Iroma believe that keeping a watchful eye over the political movements in their government is their sworn duty as citizens of the Astral Commonwealth, a trait that is unusual among the other cultures of local space. While some peoples have standardized obedience without question, indifference or even the lack of a political system, the Iroma believe in questioning all forms of government and rule, and renewing the upper echelons of governance if they fail to do their duties to the people, a trait that is effectively a poison pill for any would-be conquerors. What passes for patriotism is in fact a sense of duty to their culture and faith, and seeing the government as the most effective tool to protect them that has been conceived thus far.
While in other states the people are afraid of government, in Iromakuanhe society, it is the government that is afraid of the people.
For more information, see Entertainment.
While often favoring ascetic and introspective values, Iromakuanhe culture is far from spartan. They are encouraged to enjoy life for all it has to offer, though not without some degree of moderation, and explore the world. Literature, drama, music, physical activities and even electronic entertainment media such as televised video and computer games are the staples of their society, and it is never hard for a person to find their niche.
For more information, see The Dreamer Vigil.
Religion is a central aspect to an Iromakuanhe's life, but each is allowed to pursue it in some individualized manner. Some prefer to view it as a source of strength and model for living in their struggle for self-improvement, while others believe it to be a source of inspiration for great works of art. The less conventional, but still highly accepted view among many Ivuori is the usage of religion as the starting point for deep philosophical explorations into the idea of the self and others. The Eyr Ranr people, on the other hand, see it as a way of interpreting life as something that should be taken lightly, and with some degree of hope towards the future. Many others adhere to the orthodox teachings more astringently, and believe in a rigid, but highly selfless code of ethics presented in some renditions of the holy texts.
In short, Iromakuanhe religion is united, but diverse on a scale that allows any person to find their place in it.
For more information, see Technology.
Iromakuanhe culture has seen the rise of technology and the rapid changes in the cultural medium in previous eras. Industrial automation has changed the working landscape for the working person, and allowed the dissemination of cheap industrial goods into all areas of population. Advances in network technology have rendered even the most isolated settlements able to connect to the wider world, or even partially obsoleted the need to ever leave a networked environment. The transhumanist ideologies that came with the rise of bioenhancement, gene therapy and advanced artificial lifeforms have most past the initial point of polarizing a traditional and spiritual people and moved into the domain of the norm.
Iromakuanhe culture boasts the greatest cultural diversity despite relative isolation to the nations outside of their borders, to the point where there are dozens of recognized distinct cultural entities and over 2370 regional dialects within the Commonwealth. Most citizens can trace back their lineage to one of four traditional bloodlines, or associate their origins with the metropolitan culture of their upbringing. Cultural appropriation is not considered taboo, and many Iromakuanhe do not even assert that they are of any given ethnic group, instead simply stating the one that is most familiar to them.
As a culture that strives for the improvement of the self, sports offer the Iromakuanhe an ideal pathway to this, but training the body and mind through trials of skill and endurance. Iroma society largely acknowledges any pursuit of physical prowess as a sport, includes an array of unusual and exotic activities as mainstream sporting events, which are often broadcasted through public and private networks. For many sports, Solanii Helmets are used.
The following are simply popular and well-known athletic activities for the current living generations of Iromakuanhe.
With the proliferation of faster-than-light communications and the spread of the Commonwealth-spanning OGNEIR.net, the distribution and exchange of all types of media is an intuitive and fluid process to all but the most secluded and backwards Iromakuanhe. Music, video and the written word and all other media types are distributed exclusively through the network, through payment in the form of subscriptions or purchases from one of many incorporated media networks. Free content provided by independent studios and private users is covered by government funding, allowing a compromise between the interests of corporations and the people.
During the initial years of the OGNEIR network, many media networks with investments in television and the sale of music and video on solid-state mediums went bankrupt as they could not remain competitive against the efficient digital distribution system that had been adopted by their more progressive peers. Subsequently, nearly seven hundred years of copyrighted material was either taken up by corporations with more fluid approaches to digital rights management, or became 'lost media' and was placed under the public domain because it became impossible to enforce their licenses.
Illegal file sharing remains an issue, but the equipment to access the networks were such files are available are contraband and difficult to purchase for the average citizen. With media that is nearly free to view, and relatively cheap to purchase 'personal rights' to, it is easier to simply pay for a subscription for the average person. The revenue lost by networks is covered by a limited form of 'piracy insurance' offered by the government, and reduced through law enforcement's occasional cracking down on 'overly productive' illegal file sharing servers.
The following are simply popular and well-known media and pop-culture for the current living generations of Iromakuanhe.
It could be said that Iromakuanhe technology exists in its current form due to the influence of the Makuori progenitor race, and that all subsequent developments follow the basic pattern inherited from them. Like their adoptive forbears, the Iromakuanhe developed a powerful grasp of the life sciences and biotechnology.
Industry among the Iromakuanhe has perhaps seen the most drastic changed from the wider advances in biomechanics, robotics and NI. Industrial automation has displaced much of the working class from traditional labor jobs, and placed the majority of employment in low-repetition work areas such as the service industry, a sector that has been left untouched primarily because the Iromakuanhe have a psychological preference for attendants of the same species.
Because industrial goods and advanced space-age materials have become low-cost, many Iroma have taken to artisanal production of high-quality, custom goods to satisfy the needs of populace with a love for traditional goods. Even the Maekardanii, living in cities of golden composite and glass are able to appreciate the intrinsic value of goods produced by 'human hands'. Coupled with the effects of an educated populace that is assured economic stability but does not have the assurances of lifelong employment (with the possible exceptions of the military and the research staff of megacorps) many Iromakuanhe take to crafting themselves, developing a means express their ideas and mark their character on embroidered cloth, carved wood and dyed silks. A person wears homemade clothing as an expression of status and culture.
From an economic perspective, this has led to a market where the the average person, with unlimited wants and limited means, can often purchase a bulk of goods every few months without long-term consequences. Food and industrially produced components such as machinery, electronics or even weapons are low-cost and easily procured in major cities.
Network technologies have had a largely beneficial impact on Iromakuanhe culture and society, at the cost of causing a slim minority to fall into a more profound sort of isolation. The rise of the OGNEIR.net Commonwealth Communications Grid has uplifted many Iromakuanhe from isolation and allowed them to enter the wider world. Fringe communities in the deeper wastes of Maekardan, caravans prowling the tundra of Mazerin or gondoliers in the canal cities of Hlarai can all connect with relatives, family, friends and complete strangers as easily as setting up a small transmission beacon.
However, some people have largely abandonned their lives in the real world and remained in continuous exposure to the networked world. Cyber-Depression or 'Pod Sickness' is the illness of people who have the means to remain in constant immersion in the network and do so continuously. Although the many more modern Iromakuanhe see it as not being something unusual, traditional living people see it as a distortion of the ways people should live and the medical consequences of remaining in continuous exposure to Prajna can include muscular, systemic and neurological atrophy. On these people, the opinion is split as to whether they should be excised from online access or allowed to remain. Some among them see themselves as the next step in NI development, a true merging of the synthetic and natural intelligence archetypes as they become increasingly attached to their machines.
The transhuman dilemma is one that has existed since the very beginning of the Iromakuanhe's existence, as they themselves are not anything other than humans who have received extensive bio-modification and genetic alterations. But this dilemma is neither the most recent nor most pertinent to modern Iroma. The current issues are those of genetic therapy both before and after birth, as well as the usage of symbiotic organs and other biologically-derived artificial body systems. The average person does concern themselves with these issues, however. Most prefer regenerative therapy and would only apply for gene therapy to correct genetic damages that would otherwise inhibit treatment.
Outside of this neutral majority, are two more radical schools of thought. Symbionts see accidents and losses of limbs as a sign of the right times to exchange the broken pieces of their bodies for new, higher performing biological implants. Many undergo numerous enhancement treatments over the course of their lives, and always skirt dangerously close to the 'compatibility threshold' where the genetic damages to their weaponized bodies make them unable to sexually reproduce with their own species.
Purists believe that the body gifted from one's parents is the one they should keep, and should only be manipulated if a life is at risk. After crippling injuries, they often prefer regenerative treatment, and turn down gene therapy if damage from radiation or particles is inhibiting proper regrowth.
Both groups have significant followings in the military, perhaps more than any other sector of life, and both have secular and religious perspectives on the matter. All Iromakuanhe biotechnology is derived from those of their Makuori patrons/progenitors, thus, any attempt to join with it is a sacred union with the technology of their beloved patrons. Inversely, the Purists might argue that the body is sacred, as it is the first and only change that was given to their Saal ancestors by the Makuori. Fortunately, the confrontations between purists and symbionts are limited to small confrontations and the occasional flaunting of one's altered or unchanged body. The majority of people from both ideologies are simply content to make the choices about their own bodies as they see fit, and do not seek to impose.
Iromakuanhe Fashion is based on a mixture of what can be done by both hand and done by the technologies accessible to the Iromakuanhe. Much of the time, hand made good are preferred over mass-produced clothing, such as hand-emboroidered or dyed clothing. Despite this, some of the styles popular in Iromakuanhe fashion necessitate Molecular Furnace to manufacture or Somatic Tuning to achieve the desired appearance. Styles reflect the aesthetics of the Iromakuanhe in many ways unseen in their various other weapons, technologies, and crafts. The styles popular are Desert, Sky, Bio, Cyber, and Eclectic styles.