WHAT NO HOW DARE YOU THINK OF CUTTING THAT THAT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE PARTS OF YOUR STORY NOOOO!!
Firstly, yeahhhh, those are some big issues. But even if you didn’t fix all of the problems, I’m one of those people who will suspend disbelief on the basis of that was just cool.
Or, another option is actually not knowing. Seriously. Just have your characters think about one or two of the issues mentioned and have them not know why it’s done. This could add a layer of mystery and some more 3Dness to your world, if the idea went back far enough for that to happen. BUUUUT it could also be seen as a shortcut, soooo…
Does it have any cultural significance?
Yeah yeah, I’m getting to this one out of order, but what if you had getting a kolye or birrin being like a coming of age thing? What if kids had to pass a test or two to prove that they were worthy of getting one? That could get really complex, but it’s an idea. *shrugs*
Why was it established in the first place? There might have been frequent cases of mistaken identity or something of the like, but how could it possibly be enough to make an entire law and start enforcing it?
I think you’ve already answered this. It was established as a way of… what’s the word?? Erm, classification? Just seeing which tribe a person is from, their rank, marriage status, etc. As for the law, maybe the various tribes started enforcing it in their own tribe for the sake of their leaders’ brain cells, then over time there were so many tribes doing this that they decided to make it a law? I’m just throwing random ideas out here – they may or may not work for your world. XD
Speaking of law, who enforces this? Is there a punishment? It seems a rather petty thing to enforce. (In the words of a wise meme, ‘ain’t nobody got time for that.’)
Firstly, memes are always wise. XDDD
Secondly, that’s a good question! But I happen to know that there are some ridiculous laws out there (i.e. you’re not allowed to drive a black car on Sundays in Denver, Colorado. You’re also not allowed to peel an orange in the bathtub or fish backwards off your horse XDD). So maybe have something happen like a disgruntled person pursued a case in court over it and the court just made it a law to wear one to keep such a ridiculous case from ever happening again.
Buuut you have some problems with that, too. I doubt people don’t drive their car on Sunday in Denver just ’cause a law says to, and I SERIOIUSLY doubt the police enforce that one. Soo… *shrugs* Not sure why it’d be enforced.
What practical use does it have? At the start of the novel, the tribes are mostly at peace with each other. There’s friction, but not enough to make it that important.
What if you had a place where the tribes congregated? So kolyes and birrins started out as something you wore just during that one week of the year or whatever so peeps could tell what tribe you’re from, but then they got so popular or something that people started wearing them in everyday life?
Who thought this was a good idea in the first place? (Me, apparently, but I mean in story.)
A random dude named Jaden Kalhun.
XD Ok, maybe not, but still. You could go back to the “I don’t know” thing already mentioned, or you could make up a random person who was head of his tribe and saw how good the kolyes/birrins were at the tribal gathering thingamabob and decided to make his tribe wear them on a regular basis? XDDD Not sure here.
Does it have any cultural significance? I couldn’t think of anything.
Other than aforementioned answer to this question, you could also say tradition. It’s kinda lame but it’ll work. 🙂
I really really really hope you don’t decide to get rid of it (although if you do, let me know so I can steal the idea XDDDD)!! (Also, is there any chance I get to read your WIP? *puppy eyes*)
"For love is strong as death." -God