Ancestral burial tableau
Our ancestors had a special fixation with furniture; it permeated all facets of their lifes. They bought and built furniture commemorating all and any occasions: the passing of a loved one, the moving into a new house, etc. Even after death, furniture was present. By -300 EC, entire graves were filled to the top with dining, living, and bedrooms, leaving little room for the bodies themselves. In -295 EC, as the rare tablankel wood from the cactus forests became scarce due to the overusage of chairs in burials, a more minimalist approached was developed: the ancestral burial tableu. Unfortunately, this didn't last very long... as the tablankel was harvested to extinction by -265 EC our ancestors, having forgotten about their furniture fixation, abandoned its inclusion in their graves.
As with any piece of furniture, an ancestral burial tableau can be made in any shape and with any style. However, there are three main components found in all of them:
- The legs usually represent the overall view of the family and society of the deceased. Proving our ancestors had no idealistic views of dead people, the legs of particulary evil and deranged characters are twisted, painted with dark colors and filled with accounts of their unspeakable horrors. The tableaus of good and beneficial characters have simple and elegant legs painted with a single even coat of a bright color.
- The body is how the deceased viewed themselves. Often, plans for this part of the tableau were made years in advance, as the soon-to-be feared the idea of the family not knowing how he viewed himself. This component was usually self-gratifying and most of the tableaus found are in the same style: a golden edge in an elaborate pattern (a sign of a good life), the tablankel wood polished to a bright green (a sign of good health), and in the shape of a geometrical figure. However, exceedingly strange designs have been found; most of them are credited to deranged or eccentric individuals with a more honest view about themselves.
- On top of the tableau, objects were placed, each representing a different passion or hobby of the deceased; the decision on exactly which objects fell on the family and soon-to-be. Most of the tableaus found over the years have, at the most, three or four objects. However, when the grave of the famous Briorus Jan-Vanderschusen was found, the discoverers were surprised by the sight an incredibly large tableau of roughly 1 kunanit by 1 unanit topped with thousands and thousands of objects. Even now, researchers are still puzzled by the significance of this exaggerated volume.
Most researchers have not yet been able to unearth why the fixation with furniture began, or why our ancestors would include it in their graves, but they do agree on one thing: the tableaus allow us to have a more complete view of our recent past.
--Mr. Stokes 00:23, 20 May 2005 (EDT)