Tąpi Rā

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10, -8.7826, 50.1237
Tapi Ra NV1.png
Tąpi Rā
Flag
Motto:
"Tapi Ra NV2.png"
A being (is a) strong island. For stop enemies arrive.
Largest cityTąpi Rā Dąk
National languagesLkąrăkānd
Ethnic GroupsLkąrăk (97%), Others (3%)
DemonymTąpi
GovernmentConstitutional Socialist Monarchy
 • TąpiTąpi Đū
LegislatureCouncil of Monarchs
Area
 • Totalc4 km2
Population
 • Estimatec7,000
HDI0.59
medium
CurrencyĒkaŏyū (Ē)
Drives on theleft
Internet TLD.tr .oo

Tąpi Rā is a small territory composed of three islands in the Asperic Ocean west of Tara. It lies around 35km north of the Latinan island of Hadonda. The islands have a unique culture and history. They are a constituent territory of the Organisation of Independent Oceanic Islands (OIOI), technically being a state within this Federation.

Geography and Climate

Tąpi Rā is a basalt outcrop with a fringe of lower land and reefs. It covers less than 4 square kilometres in area. The island is covered with a mixture of scrub, dunes and shingle and there are few large trees and little agricultural land. Just 8 degrees south of the equator, its climate is mostly hot with temperatures averaging above 30 °C for 5 months of the year, and rarely falling below 15°C. Average annual rainfall is around 400mm with a peak in June and July.

Nature

The endemic Tąpi Rā Brown butterfly Bicyclus tapi-raa
Although the island is fairly close to the Tarephia mainland there are no native mammals except bats. There are two species of endemic tortoises and a flightless crake, the Teek Gallirallus raa. The endemic Tąpi Rā Brown butterfly is held in great esteem as its hind wings are thought to resemble the map outline of the islands. A number of unusual trees are found on the island, including the absinthe tree, Dendrosicyos absinthica. These trees used to be located on the area the present day airfield occupies. The trees take hundreds of years to mature but only small seedlings have been found here in recent years.

Name and Language

'Tąpi Rā' means 'King's Land' or 'Queen's Land'[1] in Lkąrăk. Lkąrăk is a language spoken only in Tąpi Rā. Until the mid twentieth century it was thought to be a language isolate, but research by Arksbury International University has linked it clearly to the language Lkąrăkānd spoken on the island of of Ūdzđąnąrąt (Udenarrat}. This places it in the Utz language family of Asperic Ocean languages. The island of Udenarrat is known as 'Ufăkn' in Lkąrăkānd which means 'place of trees'. Tąpi Rā itself has very few trees. The islands continue to use a unique alphabet, Nunufanu which is of ancient origin. In this alphabet (which is semi-syllabaric) the name of the island state is written: Tapi Ra NV1.png.

History

An endemic Tąpi Rā absinthe tree Dendrosicyos absinthica. Now very rare, these trees are only found in protected areas within the old town
According to tradition, the island was settled by tribes-people from a distant island (Udenarrat) in 1392 CE. The island was reached by sailing in a ship captured from the 'Katyz', an unknown people. The tribes-people first reached the coast of Tarephia but found this hostile to them, being controlled by powerful local kingdoms. They sailed back out to sea and finally came across these remote islands. They named the two larger islands Rą Kŭli Rā and Rą Tąpi Rā which mean 'No-one's Land Island' and 'King's Land Island'. The legend which explains their arrival on the islands tells that they escaped from Udenarrat during the reign of a king called Tąpi-Rey Yuan, having declared all of the members of their tribe to be kings in their own right. Today, every person on the island can be addressed as 'Tąpi' in everyday slang - an equivalent of 'pal' or 'mate' - but this is also reflected in the island's constitution.

Politics

The island is run under a constituted socialist system where there is universal suffrage but political parties are outlawed. The 'President' - also known as 'Tąpi' - is one of the 'Community of Monarchs' (that being every islander over the age of 15) chosen at random every 3 years.

Culture

The eastern island is dominated by the ancient fortress of Tąpi Rā which is located on a massive granite outcrop reaching 153m above sea level. The outcrop is surrounded by cliffs and a series of walls which have defended the island through history. The old port and wider settlement were in former times also defended by walls. Within the old walls are many old houses and small winding streets, along with wells and reservoirs which collect all rain water which falls on the islands. Water is re-distributed by a series of canals and channels to fields and allotments. Most of the rest of the island was formerly scrub and dunes and most islanders depended on seafood for sustenance.

Population and Economics

The present-day islands have two centres of population in the old town and new town. The total population fluctuates around the 7000 mark. There is a modern airstrip and marine research facility, much of the industrial base being provided by contributions and investment from Kėzėpölān. The Council of Monarchs does not have funds to provide universal education to tertiary level, but support from Academic Support International allows many students to attend university overseas. There is also a facility affiliated to the University of Yshon in Shadze-Ma and the International Seismological and Oceanographic Research Council based in Gobrassanya. A solar plant and offshore wind turbines provide electricity and along with natural gas power a large aluminium smelter where many islanders work. Baxite is imported from around the world and processed aluminium is exported to southern Antarephia. The bulk of the export goes to TFH bv in Forrintia and is used in the production of tinfoil for hats. The remaining small quantities are exported to Latina and other countries. There is also some tourism from Latina and a regular ferry service connects with the island of Hadonda. Many Tąpis speak Latinian and other languages. A permit is required to visit and most Latinians and tourists of other nationalities come to experience the strange local customs, food and language.

Visitors

The Nunufanu alphabet is used throughout the island, generally mono-lingually, which can make navigation in the winding streets of the old village difficult.

Text in Nunufanu is also displayed on the pennant of Tąpi Rā, a form of which has been flown continuously from the tower of the fortress since 1407, when an attack by pirates was fended off.

Notes

1.There is no distinction between sexes in the Lkąrăk language
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