Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Religion & Myth II: Zooloyoyo

Zooloyoyo is a religion that began as an extension of the Church of Keyera many years ago and is dedicated to Keyera’s husband, Zoli.  Zoli is a spirit believed to embody order, strength, and stoicism. He is credited with having given mankind the ability to build cities after Keyera taught them civilization. Zooloyoyo began as a formal and highly ritualized version of the Keyeran rights. Its rituals are extraordinarily complex, and it is notable for having an exclusive and dedicated clergy.

The complexity and exclusivity of the rituals implies that the followers of Zooloyoyo are a rather pious crowd. As a result, it tends to attract a class of people who want to be seen as exclusive and pious: merchant elites, up-and-coming nobles, and well-respected pillars of society. The ruling Bakdunis family all purport of practice Zooloyoyo, since this enhances their public image as good, pious folk, and lends to their credibility as rulers.  In truth, neither of these pretenses holds up under even the slightest scrutiny.

Zooloyoyo is second in following to Church of Keyera, and generally appeals to those who want more structure to their religion.  Every follower of Zooloyoyo must undergo a litany of morning and evening prayers in addition to lengthy weekly services and periodic holy days and auspicious occasions.  Zooloyoyo priests, who are all men, don elaborate garb and are easily recognizable by all.  Zooloyoyo is also a highly hierarchical system, which keeps numerous aspects of its practice secret to all except the most senior elders.  As a result, the religious organization is not effective for much except advancing the faith and collecting tithes from the faithful (much of which is rumored to go to family Bakdunis).

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